By Godfrey Olukya
The third session of second phase of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) led South Sudan talks have resumed in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
IGAD comprises of eight countries including Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea , Somalia Djibouti, Uganda and Kenya.
The talks will focus on a political dialogue for national reconciliation and healing in embattled South Sudan where over 10,000 people are reported to have been so far killed and over one million displaced by fighting between government troops and rebels which started on December 15th 2013.
All involved parties are in place. The talks were adjourned from April 7, 2014 for consultations.
During the adjournment, the IGAD Special envoys reportedly held a series of consultations with the principals of the warring parties, Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of the Republic of South Sudan and Dr. Riek Machar former vice president and leader of the SPLM/A- in Opposition, in an effort to fast-track the negotiation process and avert further escalation of the conflict.
During the consultations, the principals shared concern over the recent escalation of the conflict and expressed their renewed commitment to the mediation process.
The Special Envoys also conducted a series of shuttle missions to regional capitals and held consultations with leaders of IGAD countries as well as the African Union, the United Nations and IGAD Partners to mobilize support for the mediation process and the unhindered operations of the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) as well as to expedite the deployment of the regional Protection Force (PF).