25 August 2014

South Sudan Warring Factions Sign Implementation Matrix of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement

Photo: Hannah McNeish/IRIN
Education or arms?

The conflicting parties of ‪South Sudan today signed the Implementation Matrix of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement and it's addition at the ongoing 27th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on the situation in South Sudan in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, IGAD secretariat said.

In its communiqué released earlier IGAD said it "deplores" repeated violation of previous agreements signed by the two partiers particularly the "willful breaches of the 23rd Jan. 2014 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement." IT says the breach have "exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in South Sudan."

Meanwhile, IGAD condemns the death of one of its ceasefire monitors in Bentiu in the hands of forces allied to the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO). The monitors who are part of the eight verification teams had landed in the Unity State town for their routine inspection mission before being arrested and marched to unknown destination.

"The violators of the cessation of hostilities agreement and those responsible for the death will bear the consequences", said Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, the Chairman of the IGAD Mediation Team, briefing the media before the start of the Extra Ordinary Summit on South Sudan in Addis Abeba.

The Summit of IGAD Heads of State and Government is expected to decide on the way forward and also spell out the punitive measures indicated in its communiqué of 10 June 2014.

"We cannot continue to treat this matter with velvet gloves as the credibility of the summit is on the line," the special envoy reiterated. Amb. Seyoum further pointed out that a humanitarian crisis looms in South Sudan due to lack of food productivity during the prolonged conflict. "The people and leaders of South Sudan and the region, as well as the international community, have to do everything possible to avert it."

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