JUBA – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his first deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny will – ‘soon’ – Travel to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for a leadership retreat organized by Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, according to the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais.
Ethiopia negotiated, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) negotiated the revitalized peace agreement which brought about the current relative calm in the world’s youngest country after almost seven years of conflict.
Speaking to reporters following a meeting with Machar this evening, Wais said he discussed with Machar the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement and more specifically the Ethiopian initiative for a leadership retreat.
“We had a lot to discuss about the status of the agreement and beside the general information, I had two main aspects I discussed with him. One is about a leadership retreat which Ethiopia would like to conduct for South Sudan stakeholders in order to discuss important implementation mechanism and procedures,” Wais said.
“The second one is that the post-conflict need assessment and I am happy to say that the [First] Vice President showed a very big interest and support for these two program and we feel encouraged from his elaboration, definitions and explain action and we will pick up from there on these two programs as soon as possible,” he added.
South Sudan went into civil war in December 2013 after a national convention for the ruling party turned violent leading to civil massacre in the capital which later on sparked widespread mutinies and eventually civil war.
A peace agreement signed by Kiir and Machar in August 2015 failed following Machar’s return to Juba after a dog fight at the state house ended with Machar’s expulsion from Juba.
The two men later in 2018 signed a revitalized version of that agreement and are now in the government once again as president and first vice-president, respectively.