IGAD Special Envoys for the South Sudan Mediation Process expressed “serious concerns” over reports of ongoing clashes in various locations across Upper Nile, Jonglei, Warrap and Unity states in South Sudan. “The Envoys deplore the breach of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A (in Opposition) on 23rd January 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” IGAD special envoys said in a statement, “these developments will only serve to undermine the ongoing mediation process and the worsening of the suffering of the people of South Sudan.”
The Special Envoys, led by Ethiopia’s veteran diplomat Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, urged both parties to “immediately adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement” as well as continue with their strong commitment to the mediation process, given that the “crisis in South Sudan cannot be solved by military means, but rather through a political dialogue.” The Envoys also called on both parties to fully cooperate to the speedy operationalization of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism as per the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
The Special Envoys also appealed to the contributing countries of the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) and the Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs) to send their representatives in the next couple of days.
On Tuesday Feb 18th, less than a month after the Jan. 23rd cease fire agreement, a south Sudanese government official accused the rebels of attacking Malakal, a key town in the Upper Nile. The fighting quickly spread to Jonglei and Warrap in Upper Nile, and Unity states.
Caption: A photo taken on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 shows hundreds of government soldiers boarding trucks and pickups
Photo: AP/Jake Simkin