An IGAD communiquÃ© signed this evening welcomed the \"signature by the warring parties\" to the deal, \"which obliges the parties to bring the conflict to an end.\" Three previous cease-fire commitments have been broken within hours.
The Inter Government Authority on Development-IGAD has extended the deadline it earlier set for the South Sudanese warring parties to reach an agreement on a transitional government. The East African regional body, which is mediating talks between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar, called on the leaders to forge a unity government within 45 days.
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and First Vice President Bakri Hassan Saleh of Sudan all attended the summit, alongside leaders of Djibouti and Somalia.
Thousands of people have been killed and more than 1.8 million have fled the civil war sparked by a power struggle between Salva Kiir and his Riek Machar. The two leaders also met on Monday for the first time in more than two months. During their last meeting in June, the two leaders agreed to form a unity government within 60 days. They missed that deadline amid continuing war.
An IGAD communiqué signed this evening welcomed the "signature by the warring parties" to the deal, "which obliges the parties to bring the conflict to an end." Three previous cease-fire commitments have been broken within hours. But the leaders reiterated that sanctions will be imposed against whoever violates the deal.
"As a region, we have to show that any party which violates agreements that there are consequences to misbehavior," Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said at the summit of east African leaders. "We are sending a clear message to the leaders of South Sudan. So delaying in the procedure will not be acceptable - if not the region will take action."
IGAD leaders also reiterated their demand for the warring parties to allow “full participation” of other stakeholders in the peace talks, including SPLM Leaders (Former Detainees), political parties, civil society and faith-based leaders.
Although such inclusivity was agreed by the two parties on paper on 9 May 2014, both sides have since boycotted the talks in protest of inclusion of the mentioned groups. SPLM-IO boycotted for this reason in June, but since has returned to the table, while last week SPLM-Juba was boycotting for the same reason.
According to the communiqué, the East African leaders have also endorsed modalities developed by the mediation team for carrying forward the “inclusive process” of negotiations with these parties.