This article was last updated on May 26, 2022
The cancellation came shortly following increasing criticism among some of the IGAD member states on double standards played by Uganda in the South Sudan crisis.
The summit is being postponed until further notice as the case of the fledgling nation is now getting into the hands of the African Union.
“President [Salva Kiir] actually confirmed it that instead of holding a meeting here in Juba it is going to be held in Addis Ababa,” Amb. Mayien Makol, the Spokesman in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Gurtong.
“So the IGAD meeting here in Juba has been cancelled. The reason is because of the AU summit in Addis Ababa next week. Most of the issues [South Sudan political situation] are going to be discussed there [by AU in Addis Ababa] instead of having the quorum of the IGAD alone,” said Makol.
On Tuesday morning Mayien said heads of State of the IGAD are supposed expected to arrive from 7am on Thursday morning in Juba. The summit is slated to have a push on the current stalled talks between the South Sudan government and the rebels.
Fears have started mounting ahead of the IGAD summit among its member countries in what is presumed will amount to “division” among the members following the double dealings of other member countries into the South Sudan crisis.
Voices from Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia had started criticizing Uganda’s military role in the South Sudan conflict with the trio accusing Uganda of fueling the crisis and working on its “self interest.”
Uganda is also a member of the IGAD. The IGAD is the body brokering on the peace talks between the two South Sudan warring parties.
Earlier on the United Nations had warned of any foreign military intervention into the South Sudan crisis, fearing it will fuel the one case.
South Sudan’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting Michael Makuei Lueth ahead of the talks with the rebels in Addis Ababa had warned the international community over what he described as “double standards” like to affect the success of the talks.
Ugandan parliament last week had approved its President’s decision to back South Sudan government militarily in fighting the rebels in the country. The Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) is already in the front zones in South Sudan fighting the rebels alongside the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
The Uganda’s move appears to be jeopardizing the stalled peace talks in Addis Ababa as the rebels demand Kampala to withdraw its troops out of the country.
South Sudan government had already had its position clear ahead of the beginning of the peace talks with the rebels in Addis Ababa; it will not accept any preconditioned talks.
The issue of preconditioned talks by the rebels currently on the negotiations has stalled the talks.