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Tue. May 21st, 2024

IGAD has condemned the death of one of its ceasefire monitors in Bentiu in the hands of forces allied to the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO).

A statement issued by IGAD said that the monitors who are part of the eight verification teams had landed in the Unity State town for their routine inspection mission before being arrested and marched to unknown destination.

“The violators of the cessation of hostilities agreement and those responsible for the death will bear the consequences,” said Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, the Chairman of the IGAD Mediation Team, briefing the media before the start of the Extra Ordinary Summit on South Sudan in Addis Ababa.

The Summit of IGAD Heads of State and Government is expected to decide on the way forward and also spell out the punitive measures indicated in its communiqué of June 10, 2014. “We cannot continue to treat this matter with velvet gloves as the credibility of the summit is on the line,” the special envoy reiterated.

Ambassador Seyoum further pointed out that a humanitarian crisis looms in South Sudan due to lack of food productivity during the prolonged conflict. “The people and leaders of South Sudan and the region, as well as the international community, have to do everything possible to avert catastrophe.”

Fighting on South Sudan started on December 25, 2013 between troops royal to government and those of former Vice President Riek Machar. Over 10,000 people have been reported dead and over 1 million displaced ever since the fighting started.

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