Abdilhaman Khalil, the head of IGAD Liaison Office in Juba, South Sudan, has said, “IGAD (the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) cannot impose a solution on the government of South Sudan or on the conflicting parties”.“It can help; it can support; it can provide resources, but in the end it depends on the will of the people of South Sudan and the fighting parties in South Sudan to reach an agreement,” he added.
IGAD has taken a neutral stand in the conflict, the official said about the regional body which has been accused by some stakeholders of double standards in its handling of the conflict.
The parties to the agreement have also accused the regional body of failing to end the conflict in the country.
This comes after an IGAD-led mediation process for South Sudan was set up in response to the ongoing crisis in the country, which erupted in 2013.
A peace deal was signed by stakeholders in August 2015, but has not yet been fully implemented.
Last month, the IGAD council of ministers approved the Indicative Implementation Matrix of the High-Level Revitalization Forum for the peace agreement.
This followed a summit of IGAD heads of state and government in June, which decided to convene a meeting of the signatories of the South Sudan peace agreement to discuss ways to revitalize the implementation process.
The summit resolved that the meeting will include all the groups to discuss concrete measures to restore a permanent ceasefire.
The forum will also discuss full implementation of the peace agreement, and develop a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule toward a democratic election at the end of the transitional period.
The high-level revitalization forum for the peace agreement is expected to take place in September 2017.