In a press briefing held on 4th January 2014 at Sheraton Addis, the beginning of formal negotiations among South Sudanese parties was announced. IGAD- led two-day proxy talks ended with agreement of the two parties to start negotiation on two agenda items: Cessation of hostilities and the Question of detainees. During the press briefing, IGAD's efforts to assist bring peace in South Sudan was highlighted as commendable effort.
On the occasion, IGAD's Special envoy to South Sudan Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin said the two sides recognized that it is only a political solution that can tackle the current crisis and both parties reiterated their commitment to bring the crisis to an end at shortest possible time.
IGAD's Executive Secretary Mr Mahboub on his part said the decision to start formal negotiations among South Sudanese parties follows two days of extensive proxy talks that sought to understand key issues as well as deliberating on agenda items and modalities for negotiation. On behalf of IGAD partners Forum, Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Renzo Roso congratulated IGAD in particular Ethiopian and Kenyan Chief Negotiators for the promising results gained and hoped the South Sudanese parties would reach to a lasting solution to the crisis. He however, indicated that IGAD partners are still concerned with the situation in South Sudan. He also extended his appreciation and continued support to IGAD in its effort to mediate the two parties.
Foreign Minister Dr.Tedros Adhanom thanked the South Sudanese negotiating parties for their commitment to solve the crisis through political dialogue. He said that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has pledged with continued support to the peace talks of the two parties to bring final solution to the crisis.
Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya Ambassador Amina Mohammed said efforts will continue to be exerted to solve the political crisis in South Sudan.