IGAD ceasefire monitors arrive in S. Sudan

The 14-member ceasefire monitoring team arrived in South Sudan on Sunday.

IGAD ceasefire monitors arrive in S. Sudan
World Bulletin / News Desk 

The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) team set up to monitor the ceasefire agreement reached between the South Sudan's government and rebels loyal to sacked vice-president Riek Machar arrived in Juba on Sunday for a five-day advance mission.
"We are here to start the process of establishing the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism for the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement," Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Gebreeg Zabher Mebrahtu, the head of the 14-member team, told reporters on arrival at Juba International Airport.

Mebrahtu said that their presence is part of the IGAD commitment to ensure the implementation of the ceasefire deal.

South Sudan has been shaken by violence since mid-December, when President Salva Kiir accused Machar of standing behind a failed coup attempt against his regime.

The violence has already claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people.

Concluding a three-day visit to the country, Amos Valerie, UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said Wednesday that some 3.7 million people in South Sudan were now severely food insecure, while more than 820,000 had been displaced.

Following weeks of talks, the warring rivals signed an agreement on January 23 to end nearly six weeks of fighting.

Violations Check

The 14-member monitoring team includes military and civilian experts drawn from IGAD member states, the troika and other partners.

They are set to conduct a survey of the areas for possible deployment of the monitors.

They will also assess the situation on the ground before the deployment of the monitoring and verification teams.

"Verification of the ongoing accusations of random attack from the two sides is also part of our presence here," said Gebreeg, an Ethiopian.

He expressed optimism that the two parties will respect and be committed to the implementation of the ceasefire.

The two warring parties had exchanged accusations on violations of the agreement.

The IGAD team is expected to meet with stakeholders, including local and international organizations in Juba and several other locations in South Sudan.

At the end of the five-day advance mission, the team will report back to the IGAD special envoys in Addis Ababa with recommendations on the way forward.

The two rivals are expected to resume IGAD-brokered peace talks on February 7.
Last Mod: 02 Şubat 2014, 16:54
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