ADDIS ABABA (HAN) August 8.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the IGAD Plus held on Friday (August 5) its Second Extra-Ordinary Summit meeting in Addis Ababa with the attendance of Heads of State from the region and representatives from the UN, African Union, JMEC and IGAD. The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and current Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government discussed the overall situation in South Sudan. The meeting underscoring the fact that the situation in South Sudan constitutes “a serious threat to regional peace, security and stability” endorsed “the outcome of the meeting of the East African Chiefs of Defense Staff held on 29th July 2016, in Addis Ababa, on the deployment of a Regional Protection Force as the basis for further and urgent discussion with the United Nations towards reaching a common ground on speedy deployment of the Force under UNMISS,” reads a communiqué issued by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the IGAD Plus.
The meeting urging “the UN Security Council to urgently extend the mission of UNMISS with a revised mandate including the deployment of the Regional Protection Force with distinct responsibilities under the direct command of a commander who will report to the overall UNMISS Force Commander, to be based in Juba” directed “the East African Chiefs of Defense Staff to invite their counterparts in the TGoNU to discuss the modalities of the implementation of their recommendations including the immediate return to the implementation of Chapter Two of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) with the objective of unification and integration of the forces, said the communiqué. The communiqué noted that the position of the Government of South Sudan that accepted in principle the deployment of the Regional Protection Force for the protection of the IDPs, humanitarian agencies and JMEC urged the TGoNU to work expeditiously on the deployment of the Regional Protection Force. The meeting called upon DrRiek Machar to rejoin the peace process, urging “President SalvaKiirMayardit and the people of South Sudan to embrace a return to the spirit of long lasting peace in their country.”