ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 6 — As South Sudan’s warring factions have yet to abide by the recently signed ceasefire agreement, the second round of peace talks are scheduled to commence in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Monday.
The High Level Revitalization Forum on South Sudan, among other things, is expected to bring parties involved in South Sudan together based on the Dec. 21 Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access.
The ceasefire agreement, brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), asked the warring parties to stop military operations, demands that forces remain in their bases and further called for the release of political detainees.Despite the cessation of hostilities agreement that was signed during the first round of peace talks in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the violence has continued and new rebel groups are reportedly joined the vilest humanitarian condition witnessed in the country.
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the violence in the country has displaced close to 4 million people, including 1.9 million internally displaced and over 2 million who have fled as refugees to neighboring countries, mainly Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As the international community currently urges parties involved in the peace talk to adhere to their Dec. 21 peace deal, the second round of peace talks are due to commence in Addis Ababa on Feb. 5 by bringing together, among other parties, the country’s armed and non-warring political factions, various forms of civic associations, and representatives of private organizations.
According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the second round of the High Level Revitalization Forum, which is set to revitalize the 2015 peace deal between the government and rebel forces, is expected to focus on peace and security issues and governance structures. Even though the first round of discussion was said to be successful in bringing parties involved in the conflict to agree on cessation of hostilities, it was unable to bring the world’s youngest nation out of the ongoing civil war.
Concerned by the country’s current humanitarian crisis, African leaders, who took part at the 30th African Union (AU) assembly of heads of state and government in Ethiopia, had urged South Sudanese parties to abide by the peace accord.Heads of the UN, AU and IGAD had also jointly voiced their frustrations and warned South Sudan’s warring factions for violating the recent peace deal. – XINHUA