Sunday, Aug 19, 2018

My dear brothers and sisters, the people of South Sudan,

On February 1st of this year, President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar agreed to a plan to conclude negotiations on the formation of a transitional government of national unity and begin a process of healing and reconciliation in your country.  My colleagues, theLeaders of the IGAD Member States, and myself, were hopeful that this moment signaled the nearing of the end of the terrible tragedy that has befallen South Sudan since December 15th , 2013.

President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar agreed that they would come to an agreement by March 5th.  That deadline has been missed.  Talks continued this morning, past the deadline. I regret to inform you that the talks did not produce the necessary breakthrough.

The consequences of inaction are the continued suffering of you, the people of South Sudan, and the prolonging of a senseless war in your country.  This is unacceptable, both morally and politically.  On behalf of the people of Ethiopia, and the people of the entire IGAD region, we stand with you at this difficult and disappointing time: we remain hopeful that the promise of peace will be fulfilled in the near future.

My dear brothers and sisters, the people of South Sudan,

Leadership is never easy, but continuing a war flagrantly disregards the interests of you, the people.  It is an abdication of the most sacred duty leaders have to you, their people: to deliver peace, prosperity and stability.

Both President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar have assured the Leaders of the IGAD Member States that they are committed to peace.  At the same time, there are individuals on both sides who continue to beat the drums of war.  This cannot be right.  There can be no justification for the continuation of this conflict.  The war must end now.

On March 3rd , I urged President Kiir and Dr. Machar to make the necessary and difficult compromises to move out of this crisis.  I asked them to be courageous in offering compromises and alternatives, rather than only reiterating old positions.  Both regional and world leaders joined this call. Unfortunately, as the missed deadline shows, our pleas have not been heeded.

IGAD has tried to mediate the crisis as best it can, but we must acknowledge that our efforts have not yet produced the necessary results.  Our efforts cannot continue unaltered and expect a different outcome; the peace process must be reinvigorated and reformed.  In the coming days, I will consult with my colleagues, the IGAD leaders, partners and friends in the region, on the continent, and beyond to agree a common plan of action.

 My dear brothers and sisters, the people of South Sudan,

Together, we will hold the Parties to their commitment to form a transitional government by July of this year.  To achieve that goal, IGAD, joined by the friends of South Sudan from Africa and abroad, intends to implement a common plan and table a reasonable and comprehensive solution to end the crisis in South Sudan.

While the Parties may see the peace talks as a process that can continue indefinitely, you, the people of South Sudan, including the millions directly affected by the conflict, know that peace is needed, and is needed now.

At the highest level, the world must speak with one voice on South Sudan.  We will assist the Parties to make the compromises that have so far eluded them.  We will use all influence at our disposal to convince those that remain intransigent.  And we willensure that the voices of the silent majority of South Sudanese prevail: peace, reform and justice.

We ask you, the people, to refuse to support those who militate for war, destruction and killing.  We want you, the people, to be unequivocal with your leaders: choose reconciliation and not injustice; choose dialogue and not rigidity.  Choose peace and not conflict.

My dear brothers and sisters, do not lose hope.  The region, and the world, stands with you.  Peace is our only priority.  Peace will be achieved.  You, the people of South Sudan, need and deserve no less.

This afternoon, in the presence of Ato Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly, President of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit and Leader of the SPLM/A (In Opposition) Dr. Riek Machar resumed face-to-face talks on the outstanding issues of the mediation agenda as per the 1 February 2015 Working Document. Amongst the critical issues are the structure of the executive of the Transitional Government of National Unity, the power sharing ratios, the composition of the National Assembly and transitional security arrangements.  

Cognizant of the commitment of the Parties to conclude a final agreement by 5 March 2015, the IGAD Special Envoys for South Sudan call on the Parties to accelerate their efforts to reach a final agreement.  The IGAD Special Envoys also appeal to the IGAD Heads of State and Government, the United Nations, the African Union and the broader international community to join the call of the IGAD Special Envoys. 

Download this file (HMD remarks 3 March.pdf)HMD remarks 3 March.pdf[ ]48 kB

Today, we begin the final session of negotiations for the IGAD-mediated South Sudan peace talks.  This is the final opportunity to make progress, and usher in a new era of peace in South Sudan.  We must not fail. 

After months of negotiations, you are all well aware of what must be achieved now.  Genuine compromise and dialogue must take place.  The agreed March 5 deadline to conclude negotiations must be respected, so that the Pre-Transitional Period can begin on April 1, and the Transitional Government of National Unity formed no later than July 9 of this year. 

We, the IGAD Special Envoys, call on the warring Parties to ensure that the meeting of the two Principals, as agreed on February 1, occurs without further delay. This is the commitment that was made by the two Principals on February 1, and it is the expectation of the people of South Sudan, the IGAD region, Africa and the international community at large that this commitment will be fully honoured.   


Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I must repeat my distress, and that of my colleagues the Special Envoys, that violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement have continued after the February 1 Agreement.  MVM verified reports on breaches of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement will be forwarded to the chairperson of  IGAD, and to the African Union and the United Nations, as per the terms of the February 1 Agreement. The whole world is watching the conflict in South Sudan, and we call on IGAD, the AU, the UN and all international partners to join us in calling for an end to the conflict, now.  Let me also take this opportunity to thank our partners and the friends of South Sudan

for their unrelenting support for the efforts of IGAD and the mediation. 


Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Thematic committees on transitional security arrangements; economy, justice and humanitarian affairs; and the leadership and governance committee will resume work tomorrow.  These committees must be serious and make real progress.  Much work has been done to close the gap between the positions of the negotiating parties.  We hope the committees will be able to complete their tasks and finalize the harmonization of all of the thematic areas.  We stand ready to help you in whatever way we can.   

I have said many times that the people of South Sudan deserve peace, and that enough suffering has taken place. History will harshly judge all of us if we fail now to assume our respective responsibilities as leaders.  March 5 is less than two weeks away, so we must work swiftly and effectively.  Let us not disappoint the people of South Sudan any longer.  Let us conclude a comprehensive agreement without further delay.  I thank you. 

In the early hours of this morning, H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan, and Dr. Riek Machar, former Vice President of South Sudan and Leader of the SPLM/A (In Opposition) signed the ‘Areas of Agreement on the Establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in the Republic of South Sudan’ document.

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(IGAD - Addis Ababa) The IGAD Special Envoys for South Sudan strongly condemn reports of heavy fighting in Nassir, Upper Nile State, and near Bentiu, Unity State, South Sudan.

The IGAD Special Envoys implore the warring parties to demonstrate restraint and immediately cease hostilities, in line with their repeated pledges to end the war.  On November 7, 2014, at the 28th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government, the warring parties committed to an unconditional, complete and immediate end to all hostilities.  It is the clear expectation, and plea of the IGAD Special Envoys, that this commitment is fully respected. 

IGAD Monitoring and Verification Teams have been instructed to investigate these latest incidents and determine responsibility for the violations.  

At the start of this New Year, the IGAD Special Envoys urge the warring parties to make the gift of peace to the people of South Sudan, and ensure that the conflict does not continue for one moment longer.

The IGAD Special Envoys renew their call to the IGAD Heads of State and Government, the African Union, the United Nations, the Troika, the European Union, the People’s Republic of China and the broader international community to join them in pressuring the parties to immediately end hostilities and commit to the ongoing peace process. ##

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Hailemicheal Gebreselassie | Communications Officer | Office of the IGAD Special Envoys for South Sudan | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.| Tel: +251.924.909.948


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Event name: IGAD Summit of Heads of States on the Situation in South Sudan
Venue: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date: August 25, 2014