The 59th Extraordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers held in Addis
On the eve of the High Level Forum for Revitalization of the Agreement of Conflict in South Sudan, the IGAD Council of Ministers held its 59th Extra-Ordinary Session today (December 17, 2017) under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister and Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu.
The session was attended by Foreign Ministers of IGAD Member States, Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); Mahboub Maalim, IGAD Executive Secretary and Ismail Wais, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan. Representatives of AU, UN, EU, Troika, IGAD Partners Forum (IPF), China and delegates from the international community were also in attendance.
Welcoming all the attendees to what he dubbed "historic venue", Dr. Workneh in his opening remarks noted that Member States of IGAD took pride in the fact that despite challenges they have always been resilient and have come together to solve problems and stand up for each other. Mentioning the relentless efforts by all relevant stakeholders on the preparatory stage of the Revitalization Forum, the Minister pointed the process has now reached a decisive point. This involves, noted Dr. Workneh, a participatory mapping exercise and a series of broad consultations offering both inclusivity and transparency. The comprehensive report of the consultations has now been distributed to all parties to the Agreement including estranged groups, the IGAD Council, the IPF and other relevant stakeholders, according to the Minister. Dr workneh has also underscored that the success of the Revitalization Forum, scheduled to be held (December 18) onwards, hugely depends on a strong commitment, genuine political will and a desire to heal the agonies and suffering of the people of South Sudan by the parties to process.
Chairperson of the JMEC, Festus Mogae, during Session strongly urged all parties to the HLRF to renounce violence and fully embrace the process to witness lasting peace in their country as well as fast track a free and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid.
Commending the IGAD Council of Ministers for their uninterrupted support in ensuring peace and Stability in his country, Martin Lomuro, Minister of Cabinet Affairs of South Sudan expressed the commitment of his Government to constructively engage in the HLRF.
Ismail Wais, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan noting South Sudanese enthusiasm to re-engage with each other to find lasting solution to the current crisis, added, "We should therefore build on this expressed common aspiration and assist the world's news nation realize this dream.".
Representatives from the African Union Commission, the UN, the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and the European Union, the IPF welcoming the the consultations and preparations for the HLRF strongly called on the Government of South Sudan and all relevant stakeholders to negotiate on good faith and spare no efforts for a successful outcome of the HLRF.
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