Leaders of the parties to the agreement are in attendance of the meeting chaired by Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gedu Andargachew.
The meeting comes after many reports that the most recent agreement is facing implementation challenges. In three months Machar is scheduled to rejoin the government. But neither side has implemented the agreement’s safeguards, such as merging their armed forces, designed to prevent a return to war.
Kiir and Machar reportedly have resisted face-to-face meetings that could jump-start implementation by building trust and demonstrating a commitment to the peace process.
The 2018 agreement was designed to solve two critical issues before Machar entered the government: merging government and opposition armed groups and redrawing the country’s internal borders.
In March that the parties were too far behind to finish either before the united government was scheduled to be formed in May. Commissions tasked with redrawing internal borders were not formed on time. Although they had stopped fighting, the parties’ armed forces had not stood down – the first step to creating a unified army and police.
Kiir and Machar agreed to wait to form the new government until mid-November, in order to complete the military unification and border demarcation.
State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hirut Zemen, on Tuesday met Addis Ababa-based Ambassadors of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Member States, calling them to maximize efforts and to play their parts to maintain peace and stability in South Sudan in order to bring sustainable development in the region.