17-06-2018, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): H.E. Mrs Hirut Zemene, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) yesterday opened another round of Intensive Interlinked Consultations (IICs) as part of the High Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) in Addis Ababa. The State Minister represented the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers.
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.