ADDIS ABABA (Caasimada Online) – The IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held its 33rd Extra-Ordinary Summit on 12th September 2018, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government to deliberate on the final status of the Revitalized Agreement of Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
The Assembly was attended by H.E Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti; Cabinet Secretary Amb. Monica Juma representing H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya; H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Republic of Somalia; H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan; H.E. Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan; and H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda.
The Summit was also attended by H.E Amb. Mahboub Maalim, the Executive Secretary of IGAD; H.E Festus G. Mogae, the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); H.E Dr. Ismail Wais, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan.
The Special Envoys and High Representatives of the AU, UN, EU, the Co-Chairperson of the IGAD Partners Forum (IGAD-IPF), the representatives of the Troika on South Sudan (US, UK, Norway), and representatives of China were also present at the opening session and made statements.
After considering the report of the 65th Extra Ordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers, which was held in the morning of the same day, and after extensive deliberations on the matters on the agenda,
Recalls its decision of the 12th June 2017 at its 31st Extra-Ordinary Session authorizing the Council, to urgently convene a High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the parties to the ARCSS including estranged groups to discuss concrete measures, to restore permanent ceasefire, to full implementation of the Peace Agreement and to develop a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards democratic election at the end of the Transition Period;
Expresses its appreciation to H.E Dr. Abiy Ahmed the Chairman of the IGAD Assembly of States and H.E Omar Hassan Al- Bashir the President of the Republic of Sudan for facilitating and hosting the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF); and commends HE Yoweri Museveni and H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta for their support to the mediation process.
Takes note of the statement by the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers and the reports submitted by the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan as well as the statement by the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC);
Commends the demonstrated commitment of the Government of South Sudan, the South Sudan opposition groups and stakeholders to achieving peace and stability through mediation within the framework of the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF).
Takes note further that the HLRF has been successfully conducted and that it has been an all- inclusive process that enabled all Parties to the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), including the estranged groups and other South Sudanese Stakeholders, Faith-Based Groups, South Sudanese refugees, Civil Society Organizations, women and youth to participate in the process;
Welcomes the outcome of the Khartoum round of the HLRF between the Government of South Soudan and the opposition groups as well as the face-to-face talks held since June 2018 between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar Teny under the auspices of H. E Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the President Hassan al Beshir, President Kaguta Yoweri Museveni and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Endorses and fully adopts the recommendations of the 65th Extra-Ordinary Sessions of the Council of Ministers to approve the Final text of the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) 2018.
Congratulates the Government of South Sudan and the South Sudan opposition groups and stakeholders for signing the Revitaized Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and calls upon all the signatories to work in good faith and with full commitment to achieve the full and timely implementation of the R-ARCSS as a foundation for building lasting peace and stability in the South Sudan.
Emphasizes that the signatories to the R-ARCSS are the first and foremost guarantors to the implementation of the R-ARCSS and encourages the Government of South Sudan and the South Sudan opposition groups and stakeholders to work with renewed urgency and commitment in ensuring that the dreams of the South Sudanese for a peaceful and prosperous nation is realized.
Decides that until his final status is determined at the upcoming Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Assembly the SPLM – IO Leader Dr. Rieck Machar Teny shall be allowed to stay in a country of his choice in the region.
Resolves that IGAD shall engage the UN Security Council to ensure that the Regional Protection Force (RPF) is fully deployed to execute its mandate in accordance with the UNSC Resolutions 2304/16 and 2406/18, and shall request for a further review of its mandate to allow Sudan, Uganda, Djibouti and Somalia as guarantors, to contribute forces to enhance the protection and security throughout the implementation of the R-ARCSS.
Further mandates the IGAD Chiefs of Staff to assess the operational needs and elaborate the necessary tasks of the RPF in light of the current situation on the ground, and the prospected expansion, as a basis for a securing endorsement from the AUPSC and the UNSC.
Commits to stand in solidarity with the people of South Sudan and their leaders in their endeavor to attain peace, stability and economic progress, and in this regard the Summit underlines the high importance that it attaches to the humanitarian and security situation in South Sudan and calls upon the Government and Opposition Groups to prioritize the implementation of the Permanent Ceasefire on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access;
Recognizes the support extended so far by the international community not only in providing the much needed humanitarian assistance to the affected population of South Sudan, but also for their continued commitment and support to the peace and reconciliation process in the Republic of South Sudan.
Underscores the constructive role played by the partners of IGAD in assisting the conduct of the High Level Revitalization Process and calls upon them to continue to stand firmly behind the South Sudanese parties and IGAD during the implementation phases of the R-ARCSS;
Takes note that the tenure of H E Festus Mogae has come to an end, and Pays tribute to, H.E Festus G. Mogae, for his demonstrated commitment and leadership rendered as the Chairperson of JMEC; and wishes him a long and happy life.
Reaffirms the continued and collective engagement of IGAD Member States in the search of lasting peace, security and stability of South Sudan, and decides to remain actively seized of the peace and security situation in the region and South Sudan.
Noting the positive dynamics in the Horn of Africa, the summit expressed its appreciation and admiration for the courageous and groundbreaking steps taken by H.E Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and H.E Isais Afwerki, President of the Republic of Eritrea towards ending the 20 years of conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and in this regard hails the signing of the Agreement on July 8, 2018 between the two leaders that has led to the restoration of full diplomatic relations, trade, transport and communications between the two countries;
Reaffirms its commitment to ensure that all the member states of IGAD build and maintain strong, long-lasting and peaceful bilateral and regional relations that will drive the social, economic and political prosperity and stability of the IGAD region and its citizens.