Delivered At the end of continuation of Phase II of the High- Level Revitalization Forum of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan United Nations Commission for Africa Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, 23 May 2018 Your Excellency, the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers
The Council of Members
Representative of the Chairperson of JMEC
Representatives of the African Union
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Today we come to conclusion of phase II of the High
Level Revitalization Forum.
2. It is now nearly a year since the IGAD Heads of State and Government made the important decision to revitalize the 2015 Peace Agreement. The Council and my office were tasked with this noble responsibility.
There has been progression since the Forum was launched in December 2017. The Parties agreed to cease hostilities and on some provisions for restoring full and inclusive governance as well as restoring the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement.
4. You may recall that despite the achievements I have highlighted above, key governance and security issues remained outstanding.
5. These were the issues that necessitated the continuation of the second Phase of the For
6. Since April, we made several attempts to narrow the gaps between the positions of the parties ahead of the Forum this May. We conducted shuttle diplomacy, intensive interlinked consultations and facilitated two workshops on governance and security
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In February session of the Forum, the South Sudanese Parties and Stakeholders requested IGAD to be allowed to undertake intra-South Sudanese consultations. We listened and agreed to this proposal.
It is on that basis that at the resumption of this Phase of the Forum the internal dialogues among the South Sudanese stakeholders were facilitated by our spiritual leaders – the South Sudan Council of Churches.
It was important that this track was also given due consideration, to explore a homegrown South Sudanese solution.
In that regard, I sincerely thank the South Sudan Council of Churches for their tireless effort to facilitate this dialogue over the past days of the Forum. I know it was not easy but this is what we have been going through for the past 11 months!
I encourage the Faith-Based leaders to continue praying for this process and the country, and preaching peace and reconciliation to our people of South Sudan here and back home.
I further encourage the South Sudanese parties and stakeholders to consider the IGAD bridging proposals which reflect a considered effort to identify common ground between the different negotiating positions.
Excellences, Ladies, and Gentlemen,
Today, we end this Phase of the Forum. But before we do so, I would like take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate you all for your patience and dedication to the revitalization process.
I particularly commend the South Sudanese delegates for their constructive engagement and contributions throughout the past
I also commend the IGAD Council of Ministers, the Facilitation team, the Revitalization Taskforce and the IGAD/JMEC Secretariat for their enormous contribution throughout this important Phase of the For their enormous contribution throughout this important Phase of the Forum.
Finally, I commend the region, the AU, UN, Troika EU, Norway, China, Japan and all the entire international community fraternity for your solidarity with us, and the sustained support to the ongoing revitalization process.
I wish you safe journey back to your various destinations until we meet again.
The Council of Ministers of IGAD recalls the Communique of its 61st Extraordinary Session held in Addis Ababa on 26 March 2018, whereby it decided to take the necessary measures against violators of the Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians, and Humanitarian Access Agreement (COHA) signed on 21 December 2017, to halt the conflict in South Sudan.
In this regard, CTSAMM and JMEC have submitted reports concerning the repeated and serious violations of COHA, which calls for urgent and appropriate action against the perpetrators.
Therefore, the Chairperson of the Council has decided to convene an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers to consider the punitive measures that should be taken against violators of the COHA. Furthermore, the Council will consider two more items namely:-the Report of the Chairperson on the shuttle diplomacy undertaken to the Parties in South Sudan in accordance with its Communique of 26 March 2018, as well as the Report of the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan.
15-05-2018, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): Within the framework of the preparation for the High Level Revitilisation Forum (HLRF) led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD Director of Peace & Security Division, Ambassador Tewolde Gebremeskel, this morning in Addis Ababa opened a two-day seminar on Governance and Security Issues for stakeholders of the South Sudan crisis.
12-05-2018, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): Building on its prior consultations and efforts to narrow the differences between the parties on the key outstanding Governance and Security issues, the IGAD Council of Ministers (CoM), assisted by the IGAD Special Envoy, has invited to Addis Ababa the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) for Intensive Interlinked Consultations (IIC) in Addis Ababa on May 11, 12 and 13, 2018.
These ongoing consultations are also meant to discuss the outstanding issues identified at the end of the last session of the High Level Revitalisation Forum for South Sudan.
The IIC is an approach meant for a greater degree of candour and vigour than is normally possible in more formal settings, such as plenary. The IIC is not envisaged as an inter-party negotiation session; rather, it is an opportunity to explore potential compromise areas, and to deepen the Facilitation’s understanding of the positions and interests of each party
The Facilitation is engaging each party on its positions in relation to the outstanding issues in Security and Governance, while encouraging each party to consider the positions advanced by the other parties within the framework of the latest shuttle diplomacy.
In line with the conception of the IIC as a preparatory platform for the upcoming High Level Revitilisation Forum, the expected outcomes are:
(a) participating parties would (have had the opportunity to) review their positions to enhance the possibility of reaching agreement with the other parties and stakeholders to the upcoming HLRF on the outstanding issues;
(b) as appropriate, the participating parties would have engaged each other directly to explore potential areas of consensus;
(c) the Facilitation would have deepened its understanding of the parties’ interests and positions on the outstanding issues ahead of the HLRF; and
(d) the Facilitation would inform its judgement on the most effective processes.