ADDIS ABABA, May 8 — President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and his estranged former vice-president, Riek Machar, who is now leading a rebellion against him, are expected to meet here Friday at the invitation of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, who is the current Chairperson of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Assembly.

According to the IGAD Special Envoys for the South Sudan Mediation Process, it is hoped that the face-to-face meeting will help end the violence and killings in South Sudan and provide the necessary impetus to the ongoing IGAD-led mediation process towards an inclusive and lasting political solution to the crisis in the world’s newest nation.

The Seyoum Mesfin-led IGAD Special Envoys, in a statement issued here Wednesday, noted the encouraging developments in the negotiations as the parties have agreed to immediately begin tackling substantive issues that address the root causes of the crisis.

These include the implementation of the recent cessation of hostilities agreement and permanent ceasefire, transitional governance and interim arrangements, and a permanent Constitution for South Sudan.

This development follows a signing of a recommitment on humanitarian matters in the cessation of hostilities agreement between the government and the opposition. The agreement includes a commitment to observe “30 days of tranquility” starting from May 7, 2014.

The parties have further committed to open all humanitarian corridors within South Sudan and from Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda to South Sudan.


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