Igad foreign ministers in Juba on shuttle diplomacy

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) foreign ministers Sunday met South Sudanese President Salva Kiir in Juba over peace in the country.

The South Sudanese Presidency said the Igad team’s mission was to narrow the disagreements between government and rebels threatening to collapse the upcoming peace talks.

The visit to Juba comes a few days after the regional bloc announced the postponement of the talks to May 17-21.

Igad faces intense pressure from the US, UK, Netherlands and Norway and other donors to achieve peace in the upcoming final talks.

Juba recently warned that it would hold elections if the upcoming talks failed.

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The East African Parliament has recently expressed interest to observe the last peace talks.

The African Union was also on alert to take over the meditation from Igad, in case the talks collapsed.

President Kiir vowed to crush the rebels and ruled out awarding them any ranks and positions in his government.

The president’s comment cast doubt over the success of the upcoming peace talks.

The South Sudan war that started in 2013, has claimed over 100,000 lives, according to the International Crisis Group.

UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced both within and outside the country, adding that the war has caused one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, similar to the Rwandan 1994 genocide.

DN