ADDIS ABABA (HAN) August 5.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. Regional leaders are meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for an extraordinary Igad Summit on South Sudan as they push for a lasting peace solution in the young nation.
The summit which include Assembly of Heads of State and Government of IGAD and the African Union Ad-hoc Committee on South Sudan, referred to as the IGAD Plus.
Fresh fighting erupted in Juba early last month between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his then First Vice President Riek Machar, threatening to move South Sudan back to civil war.
The renewed hostilities undermined a peace deal signed last August between parties involved in the South Sudan conflict.
Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn helped mediate the negotiations that culminated in the signing of the peace agreement.
The regional meeting will have representatives from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
The leaders, who have backed AU and UN proposal to send troops into South Sudan, will likely try to push the government to accept the protection force
The meeting which is aimed at coming up with a sustainable solution to South Sudan crisis is also being attended by representatives from the United Nations, African Union and Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) on the progress of the implementation of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements in South Sudan.
IGAD has sharply criticised parties involved in the current hostilities in South Sudan and expressed its displeasure on reports of widespread and increased acts of conflict related sexual violence, especially rape (including gang rape) of women and girls in youngest African nation.
IGAD said the horrendous acts may in essence constitute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity within the ambit of UN Security Council Resolution 1820 of 2008.