South Sudan Rivals to Sign Peace Agreement on Wednesday

Sunday, 9 September, 2018 - 07:30
Khartoum, London - Ahmed Younes and Mustafa Seri

South Sudanese rivals President Salva Kiir and rebel Chief Riek Machar are set to formally sign a peace agreement at a summit of regional leaders in Ethiopia next week, Sudanese foreign minister said on Saturday.

The agreement on power-sharing, which is supposed to end five years of civil war in South Sudan, was already signed by the two sides in August in Khartoum, following weeks of talks between warring factions in the country.

Kiir and Machar are now expected to ink the final accord at a summit in Addis Ababa on September 12, Sudanese FM Al-Dierdiry Ahmed told Sudan's official news agency SUNA.

“After intense discussions between Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) leaders in Beijing, it has been decided that an IGAD summit will be held on September 12 in Addis Ababa,” Ahmed said, referring to the East African bloc that has pushed the latest initiative to end the war in South Sudan.

“Among other issues, the summit will approve the South Sudan peace agreement, which has already been initialed in Khartoum.”

Eritrea will rejoin IGAD and participate in the organization's summit in Ethiopia next week.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU) considered reconciliation efforts among Horn of Africa states a milestone in the quest for Africans to bring peace.

Eritrea suspended its IGAD membership in 2007 and rejoined the bloc in 2011. But it suspended its membership again in 2017.

The two-day summit will be held on September 11 and 12 in Addis Ababa.

During the summit, parties will discuss concerns and reservations of the opposition groups and endorse the final text of the revitalized peace agreement, according to press reports.

The rapid developments in the Ethiopian-Eritrean relations have reduced tension in the Horn of Africa, prompting the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, to express optimism on these developments and improvement in relations between the neighboring countries in the Horn of Africa.

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