Ayuen Panchol | July 24, 2017 | 1:52 pm
31st IGAD Extraordinary Summit in which the forum was arrived at | Photo | Courtesy
The revitalization forum is not meant to renegotiate the peace agreement, the IGAD Council of Ministers has said.
Earlier this month, the Deputy Minister of Information, Akol Paul Khordit, said the transitional government would not renegotiate the peace agreement in the IGAD proposed Revitalization Forum.
The ministers arrived in Juba on Sunday in order to commence the high-level forum which was arrived at during the 31st IGAD Extraordinary Summit in Addis Ababa last month.
“We will reassure the president and his government that IGAD is not for renegotiation of the agreement. And our position on Riek Machar remains unchanged,” said Workneh Gebeyhu, chairperson of IGAD executive council.
The forum will discuss full implementation of the peace agreement and develop a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards a democratic election at the end of the transitional period.
The call for a revitalization meeting came after the regional body said the security situation is worsening and has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of internally displaced persons and refugees.
Following a power crisis erupted in Juba in 2013, South Sudan has spiraled into a national, political and ethnic conflict, quickly spreading across many parts of the country and leading to the death of thousands of women, children and men.
Since then, 3.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to the brutal war, according to the UN.
Out of these, 1.8 million have sought safety in neighboring countries, mainly Kenya, Ethiopia, the Sudan, and Uganda. Most of them are women and children.
Last week, the United States warned South Sudan leaders that they risked losing U.S. support if they did not participate in the IGAD-led revitalization forum.