Ethiopia reiterates support for South Sudan peace process

FILE PHOTO: President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit (front L) attends a meeting with Riek Machar (front R), AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Ismail Chergui (rear L), Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta (rear C) and Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn (rear R) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 01, 2015./ Getty Images

Ethiopia will remain steadfast in its support for South Sudan’s peace process, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu Andargachew said on Saturday ahead of a Februaryu deadline for the formation of a transitional unity government in Juba.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Andargachew held talks with James Morgan, South Sudan’s ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union (AU), in which he reiterated Addis Ababa’s support for Juba’s peace efforts.

“Andargachew reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment in helping South Sudan to implement the necessary issues ahead of the formation of the transitional unity government,” Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

“He also expressed his hope that South Sudan peace signatory parties would come into consensus to resolve sticky issues with the remaining 50 days to form the transitional government,” it added.

On his part, Morgan hailed Ethiopia’s support for his country and briefed the Ethiopian Foreign Minister on the status of implementation of the peace process.

South Sudan has been dogged by conflict for over six years, killing hundreds of thousands and displacing millions more.

Regional and International actors however hope the formation of a transitional government will help put the country back on track towards lasting peace.

The Ethiopian government played a big part in the negotiations that birthed the peace deal, many times hosting South Sudan’s warring parties in Addis Ababa for talks.