Addis Ababa, February 23, 2015 (SSNA) — The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has warned South Sudan’s rival factions that a peaceful solution to the ongoing civil war in South Sudan must be reached, or else the regional bloc, IGAD, with the international community will take action to bring peace to the violence-wracked young nation.
Today, at what IGAD called last chance peace negotiations, IGAD Chief Negotiator, Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Seyoum Mesfin, reminds the gathering saying the East African regional bloc and the International Community are closely watching the volatile country.
“The whole world is watching and we must not fail, we must bring an end to the suffering that is still ongoing in South Sudan,” Seyoum said at the opening session of the talks.
“This is the final opportunity to bring peace to South Sudan,” he warned.
At the session, Seyoum also revealed that both government and opposition forces have violated the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement after February 1st.
The two opposing sides have in the past signed several agreements. However, they failed to agree on power sharing, with Kiir’s government vowing it will never share power with South Sudanese rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar.
Rebels split claim
South Sudan’s government has in recent days claimed that it has evidence showing the rebel movement under Former South Sudan’s Vice president, Dr. Machar, is faltering and that there is no need for the government to participate in peace talks.
The government linked its split claim to the defection of Spokesman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition (SPLA-IO), Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang who left his post last week.
South Sudanese president Salva kiir Mayardiit failed to show up at the recent talks. IGAD, African Union, Troika, European Union, and the International Community strongly condemned the move and demanded Kiir’s presence at the negotiations.
Rebels dismiss split-claim
Meanwhile, military Generals of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition (SPLA-IO) call split claim “nonsense,” and branded the defection of Lul Ruai Koang as “lone wolf-innovation”.
The rebel commanders also vowed to choose Lul’s replacement in days.
IGAG has in the past warned of ‘serious consequences’ if rival sides failed to find a peaceful solution to the raging civil war.