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JUBA - 27 Aug 2015

IGAD mediators announce 'beginning of implementation phase'

Mediators of the East African regional bloc IGAD have celebrated the conclusion of peace talks between South Sudan's warring parties and announced the “beginning of the implementation” phase of the signed peace deal between the government and rebel group SPLM/A-IO.

President Salva Kiir signed the deal on Wednesday in spite of criticism from other government officials who favored continuing the war instead. The president himself also voiced objections to the deal, but regional leaders hailed the signing as a major milestone.

Three IGAD Special Envoys – one Ethiopian, a Kenyan and a Sudanese – led the special mediation unit that brokered the deal. They announced their optimism in a press release late yesterday, saying the deal needs urgently to be implemented.

“We recognize that the signing of this Agreement is the end of the protracted phase of negotiations and the beginning of the implementation phase. What is important now is therefore to focus on the full and complete implementation of the Agreement.”

The envoys added, “At this important juncture, we call up on the warring parties to strictly implement the Permanent Ceasefire within 72 hours of the signing of the Agreement, as provided for in Chapter II, Art. 1. of the Agreement.”

File photo: IGAD Special Envoy Lazaro Sumbeiywo at a press event at the Foreign Ministry in Juba, 29 May 2014 (Radio Tamazuj)