IGAD Special Envoy in South Sudan refutes partisan claims by Machar group

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) -The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ismail Wais, has refuted claims by SPLM-IO deputy military spokesman that IGAD and TROIKA were responsible for the ceasefire violations in Bieh State.

In a press statement,  Ambassador Wais dismissed the allegations as misleading and irresponsible.

He  was reacting to  Col. Lam Paul Gabriel's claim that IGAD was taking sides in the long running civil conflict in South Sudan.

Gabriel, deputy spokesman for the SPLM-I0, headed by former South Sudan vice president  Riek Machar, accused IGAD and TROIKA of violating the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access (CoHA)

IGAD is leading the peace talks that brings together fighters loyal to Machar and government forces serving under South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

The South  conflict started in December 2013 after President Kiir accused Machar and ten others of attempting a coup d'état.

The Special Envoy asked the party responsible for the press release to withdraw the statement, which appeared on January 15, and not to indulge in such act in the future.

He described the claim as 'unfounded and diverts the attention of the public from the core issues of attainment of peace and security in South Sudan'.

IGAD released the statement after the Special Envoy held a briefing meeting on January 17, 2018 in Juba with the Chairperson of CTSAMM, Major General Ibrahim Abdul Jelill.

Following the meeting, the Special Envoy recalled the statements issued by the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers, the TROIKA and jointly by the AU and UN.

All the statements, he said, pointed to the callous violations of the ceasefire, known as CoHA., which was signed in Addis Ababa on 21 December 2017 at the High Level Revitalization Forum.

Wais said in all of these statements, the signatories have been called upon to desist from actions that contravene the Agreement.

He underlined that CTSAMM has been closely monitoring the developments on the ground since the coming into effect of the CoHA and doing its assessment and verification tasks with a view to ascertain and identify those armed groups and military commanders responsible for the violations.

"Violators shall be identified, held accountable and will face all consequences thereof," he concluded.

-0- PANA DJ/AR 19Jan2018

19 janvier 2018 19:02:14

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