STATEMENT BY H.E. PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA, CGH, RAPPOTEUR OF IGAD AND CHAIRMAN OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY, ON THE SIGNING OF A PEACE AGREEMENT BETWEEN SOUTH SUDAN PRESIDENT SALVA KIIR AND DR. RIEK MACHAR
I take this early opportunity to congratulate the President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr Riek Machar for holding face-to-face talks today and signing the peace agreement.
I do this on behalf of the Government and the people of Kenya as well as the East African Community. These talks were held within the context of, and chaired by the chairman of IGAD, H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia. We are very pleased by the progress so far and look forward to a complete cessation of hostilities and an IGAD summit in the near future.
Recently, I expressed our region's disappointment at what the leaders of South Sudan were allowing their country to become, a country torn by conflict and I vowed that the region would not stand by and watch anarchy and death become normal occurrences in South Sudan. Today's events show that the region is committed to facilitating the return of peace and stability in an important neighbour and friend.
The meeting in Addis Ababa and its outcome are a further step forward in a process that began on the 19thof December 2013. The release of all 11 political detainees, including the last four, by H.E. the President of South Sudan, for which we have expressed our gratitude, have paved the way for the breakthrough that we see today.
We expect the signing of today's agreement to lead to a quick implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement that was signed in January this year. We look forward to the next summit which we hope will further solidify today's gains.
We also expect today's agreement to lead to the opening up of humanitarian corridors for the delivery of assistance to those in need.
We also welcome the agreement by the Parties to fully cooperate with the African Union Commission of Inquiry and pledge to abide by its recommendations because it is important that those responsible for committing any atrocities - regardless of the political divide - take full responsibility and are held accountable for their actions.
His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta
President of the Republic of Kenya
9 May 2014