05-02-2018, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, today presided over the opening session of the 2nd Phase of the High Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) on South Sudan during which remarks were made by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC)-H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan-H.E. Ambassador Ismael Wais, the Deputy Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC)-H.E. Amb Gen. Augostino Njoroge, as well as various representatives from the international community.
The First Phase of the HLRF did close successfully in Addis Ababa with the signature of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) on December 21st, 2017.
Dr. Workneh thanked all the entities that have been showing support to the peace process in South Sudan as well as the South Sudanese delegations for actively participating in the revitalisation process. He added that IGAD Member States, the African Union, the international community, and the South Sudanese had high hopes after the signature of the CoH Agreement a few weeks ago. He nevertheless noted that that there have been allegations and counter allegations of violations that were thereafter reported by the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM).
He continued that violators of the CoH will be held accountable, and urged parties to adhere to the CoH Agreement of December 21st, 2017. He concluded his remarks by stating that the HLRF was a golden opportunity for peace and prosperity in South Sudan.
The African Union Commission Chairperson, the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, the JMEC Deputy Chairperson, representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, the Troika (Norway, UK, and USA), China, and the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) in their remarks joined the IGAD Council of Ministers Chairperson by deploring violations of the ceasefire.
They respectively called on all parties to seize the chance for peace the HLRF did represent for all South Sudanese and warned against failure.
The immediate objectives of the 2nd Phase of the HLRF are:
- To restore permanent ceasefire;
- The full implementation of the peace agreement; and
- To develope a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards a democratic election in South Sudan at the end of the transition period.