Regional leaders under the auspices of the regional political bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD including Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni have witnessed the signing of the last revitalized peace agreement between warring factions in South Sudan at a ceremony held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
President Museveni was Wednesday in Addis-Ababa, for the 33rd Extra Ordinary Session of The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Heads of State and Government where he interacted with Ethiopia Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmmed, Presidents Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, Machar Teny Dhurgon, South Sudan Vice President and delegations from Kenya and other member states before the signing of the peace agreement.
IGAD is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa that includes governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley and the African Great Lakes
The president says he is hopeful that the final revitalized peace agreement signed by South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon during IGAD Summit will formally end a five-year war that has left tens of thousands dead and millions as refugees in neighboring countries, especially Uganda, and enable refugees return home and embark on their normal lives.
Mr. Museveni also said the prolonged conflict has affected trade and retarded development in the region.
The agreement was Wednesday signed by leaders of the different factions and by representatives of the IGAD region and the body’s secretariat, reinstated Machar in his former role as Vice-President and comes two weeks after a peace deal was officially agreed upon between the government and rebel groups. IGAD is currently led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
"The eyes of the world are upon us as the South Sudan leaders commit today to press for reconciliation and lasting peace in their country," Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said ahead of the signing.
The final text was signed by all the parties including President Salva Kiir, SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar, South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), Gabriel Chang Changson, SPLM- FDs leading member Deng Alor.
The President was accompanied by the State Minister for Regional Affairs Philemon Mateke, the Woman Member of Parliament for Bukedea, Hon. Anita Among and Uganda’s Ambassador to Addis Ababa and the AU, Ms. Rebecca Otengo.