By Staff Reporter
November 11, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers held its 69th Extraordinary Meeting on November 10, 2019, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the chairmanship of Gedu Andargachew, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The session deliberated on the status of the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and the way forward.
The meeting was attended by Awut Deng Acuil, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Sudan; Asma Abdalla, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Sudan; Dr. Philimon Mateke, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda; Hirut Zemene, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Ababu Namwamba, Chief Administrative Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya; Abdulkadir Ahmed-Khayr, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Somalia; and Mohamed Ali Hassan, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Djibouti, among many others.
After listening to a report by the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais, and the Interim Chairperson of RJMEC, Ambassador Lt. Gen. Augostino Njoroge, the IGAD session congratulated the parties for the progress made in the implementation of pre-transitional tasks, particularly the holding of the ceasefire and the continued opening of humanitarian corridors.
The Special Envoy also welcomed and appreciated the effort made on the Tripartite Summit convened in Entebbe by the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, and attended by the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the Chairperson of the SPLM/A-I.O., Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
The meeting in Uganda has resulted in the extension of the Pre-Transitional Period by one hundred (100) days to enable critical pending pre-transitional tasks to be completed.
The Ministerial consultative meeting with the parties to the R-ARCSS, which was held in Addis Ababa starting from November 9, 2019, endorsed the agreement of the Tripartite Summit. It also endorsed the Outcome Document, including the agreement to extend the Pre-Transitional Period for one hundred (100) days effective from November 12, 2019.
The participants of the consultative meeting noted that critical pending pre-transitional tasks that are crucial for the formation of the R-TGoNU particularly relating to Transitional Security Arrangements and the determination of the number and boundaries of states are still outstanding.
The meeting also called upon the incumbent TGoNU to immediately disburse the balance of the USD 100 million to NPTC to enable the completion of the critical pending tasks.
Reflecting IGAD’s concern that some civilian centers still remain occupied by SSPDF and SPLM/A-I.O. forces and urged the SSPDF and SPLM/A-I.O forces to immediately vacate all remaining civilian centers and populated areas.
The Regional Authority also urged all forces of the Incumbent TGoNU and the opposition to be cantoned in barracks and cantonment sites respectively pursuant to the provisions of the R-ARCSS and called upon the IGAD Heads of State and Government to continue facilitating face-to-face meetings of the leadership of the Parties including the two principals.
In this regard, Ambassador Ismail Wais urged the Incumbent TGoNU to urgently mobilize the necessary assistance to expeditiously deliver the in-kind support stockpiled in Juba to the various cantonment sites and barracks.
The Ambassador Emphasized the need to work on a roadmap and implementation plan to ensure the timely completion of pending pre-transitional tasks and in this regard instructed the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan in collaboration with R-JMEC, CTSAMVM and the African Union Commission to urgently organize a workshop for security mechanisms in Juba to agree on a roadmap with clear timeline for the implementation of Transitional Security Arrangements within the one hundred (100) days extension.
‘IGAD Called upon the guarantors and the Parties to urgently operationalize the new Mechanism agreed upon in the Entebbe Tripartite Summit of 7th November 2019, and to prepare the Terms of Reference of the new Mechanism by taking into consideration the mandate and work of existing Agreement mechanisms and institutions ‘The Ambassador said
The Council directed that the new Mechanism should work closely and coordinate with the NPTC, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, R-JMEC and CTSAMVM’’ he added.
At the closing of the consultative meeting the IGAD, Special Envoy for South Sudan is directed to facilitate a meeting of the parties to the R-ARCSS to resolve the issue of the number of states and their boundaries and any other outstanding issues pertaining to the establishment of the R-TGoNU to continue engaging the non-signatories to the R-ARCSS.
In this regard, the Council is to provide the requisite political support, organize a leadership retreat for the leaders of the parties to the RARCSS for trust and confidence-building as soon as possible. It will also closely monitor the progress of implementation of the critical pending tasks within the one hundred (100) days of the newly extended PreTransitional Period in close collaboration with R-JMEC and CTSAMVM.
The 69th Extraordinary Session of IGAD is the last session for Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, the outgoing Executive Secretary of IGAD. Dr.Werkineh Gebeyehu, the former Ethiopian Foreign Minister, will succeed Ambassador Mahboub Maalim.
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