The High Level Revitalization Forum was launched on December 18, 2017 by H.E Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government, in the presence of H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission and H.E Festus Gontebanye Mogae, Chairperson of JMEC.

The High Level Revitalization Forum concluded its first phase today with the signing of an Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access. The IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ambassador Ismail Wais and the Co-Facilitators of the Forum H.E. Ramtane Lamamra, H.E. Hanna Tetteh and H.E. George Rebello Chicoti announced the successful conclusion of the first phase of the High Level Revitalization Forum. They expressed their appreciation to the South Sudanese stakeholders, representatives of the government, opposition parties, armed and non-armed groups as well as the representatives of civil society organizations, eminent persons, business, women and youth for the success they achieved. They also congratulated the stakeholders for their commitment in the revitalization process as demonstrated by the constructive manner, in which they participated in the discussions that allowed for the conclusion of an agreement.

The Cessation of Hostilities Agreement shall come into force at 00:01 hours (South Sudan local time) on the 24rd December 2017. The Agreement sets the stage for further discussions, required for the Revitalization Process.

The Special Envoy and Co-Facilitators called upon the South Sudanese stakeholders to continue with the same spirit in the next phase of the Forum that will deal with issues of Governance, Permanent Cease-Fire and Transitional Security Arrangements and Revised Timelines for the Implementation of the ARCSS. They expressed their gratitude to the Envoys and representatives of partners and organizations for the support and encouragement they rendered to the members of the South Sudanese delegations since their arrival in Addis Ababa. They also recalled the statements issued recently by TROIKA, UN, EU and IPF in support of the Forum and urged these organizations and the international community at large to continue accompanying the South Sudanese stakeholders as they forge ahead with the objective of revitalizing and implementing the ARCSS.

The stakeholders look forward to a successful conclusion of the rest of the agenda of the Forum in the interest of the People of the Republic of South Sudan. The IGAD Council of Ministers assisted by the Special Envoy and the Co- Facilitators are committed to continue in their endeavours to fulfil the task entrusted to them by the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat in his address at the concluding session of the Forum, while congratulating the South Sudanese parties for their commendable achievement, reiterated the firm support of the AU Commission in the second phase of the Forum.

The Chairperson of IGAD Council of Ministers, H.E Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD), in his concluding remark at the signing ceremony underlined the importance of South Sudanese Parties to engaging in earnest at the High Level Revitalization Process to bring to an end the prolonged suffering of the People of South Sudan. He also called upon the member states of IGAD and the International Community to continue to speak with “One Voice” and align their action in the interest of speedy resolution of the conflict in South Sudan.

December 21, 2017

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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