CAIRO: An Egyptian delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed to Addis Ababa Saturday to follow up on negotiations with South Sudan brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), according to the ministry’s statement.
“Egypt is closely following the developments of the political and humanitarian crises in South Sudan since December 2013 when violent clashes broke out between the government and the armed opposition in Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, led by the former vice-President Riek Machar,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty said in the statement.
The Egyptian delegation would strongly push forward to reach a ceasefire between the two conflicting parties there and encourage forming a transitional government, Abdel Atty added.
“Egypt quickly responded to participate in tackling the crisis by sending high-level delegations to Juba to meet with conflicting parties and put an end to conflict,” Abdel Atty said. “We also sent humanitarian aid of food and medicine, as well as conducted political contacts with all parties.”
IGAD is a seven-country trade bloc including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. It condemned the renewed fighting between both sides and the violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed on Jan. 23, 2014, according to IGAD’s statement on Aug. 15. The agreement collapsed in days since both sides blamed the other of breaching it.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir met with his former vice-president Mashar in May and signed a deal to stop the violence in which thousands of people were killed and more than 1.5 million people displaced, according to the U.N.’s statistics. Under terms of this deal, a transitional government would be formed.
The clashes erupted in December 2013 in the four-year-old country when Kiir dismissed Mashal and reshuffled the key cabinet ministries and delayed the troops in the streets.
IGAD will hold the 27th Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of States as soon as the communiqué is issued.