This article was last updated on May 26, 2022
The meeting would be under the auspices of Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn of Ethiopia, Chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
“The meeting, the first of its kind since the outbreak of the crisis, will take place against the backdrop of a deteriorating situation on the ground, marked by widespread abuses against civilians and other violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” Dr Nkosazana said in a press statement.
She urges the two leaders to seize the opportunity of the meeting to agree on concrete steps to honor their commitments under the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 23 January 2014 and move the political process forward.
“The people of South Sudan, the region, Africa and the larger international community, who are distressed by the appalling situation on the ground, cannot expect less from them,” said the AUC boss.
“The urgency of finding a lasting solution to the crisis cannot be over emphasized. Every single additional day lost brings more suffering to the people of South Sudan, further tearing apart the social fabric of the country and threatening its very existence, while also seriously affecting regional security and stability.”
The two leaders are meeting just days after Government and the Anti-government peace-talks delegations in Addis Ababa signed the “Recommitment on Humanitarian Matters in the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and SPLM/A (In Opposition). This document provides for a month of tranquility starting from 7 May 2014.
“It is imperative that the commitments made are fully implemented to enable the unhindered, unrestricted and safe delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need,” she appealed. Dr. Nkosazana also reiterates AU’s full support to the IGAD-led mediation.
She also commends the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, leaders of the region, Special Envoys and the international community for their continued engagement aimed at resolving the crisis in the world’s newest nation.
Since the crisis broke out late last year, thousands of people have been killed, over a million others have been displaced and UNMISS PoCs across the country have become homes to thousands of citizens who feel threatened to live in their own homes.
The recent visits of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry and now the meeting of Kiir and Machar are expected to push the two warring parties to an immediate end to hostilities and halting of bloodshed.