Foreign Affairs CAS Hon Ababu Namwamba, is in Juba leading the Kenyan delegation at the start of the Juba leg of the IGAD Council of Ministers’ shuttle diplomacy whose objective is to find lasting peace and stability for South Sudan.
The delegation of the IGAD Council of Ministers yesterday held marathon consultations with a series of actors and stakeholders, including the IGAD Technical Team led by Special Envoy for South Sudan H.E. Ismail Wais, the African Diplomatic Corp that included Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, AU and International Partners composed of the European Union (EU) and the Ambassadors of Britain, US, Germany, Japan, China, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Netherlands.
Among the issues discussed included the urgent need to:
1. Silence the guns and stop all killings.
2. Allow unimpeded humanitarian assistance to all affected people.
3. Achieve inclusive peace, security and governance in South Sudan.
In his address to the various stakeholders, Hon Namwamba reiterated Kenya’s unflinching commitment to the IGAD-led peace process and urged all international partners to firmly support the process.
“We have come a long way with South Sudan from the time of mid-wifing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Kenya. We cannot give up now,” said Namwamba.
Noting that the whole region was affected by the domino implications of the situation in South Sudan, Hon Namwamba said the peace process could not afford to collapse. “We have only one option and that is the success of restoration of peace and stability in South Sudan. Failure is no option”.
He stressed on the urgent need to ceasing all hostilities and to providing protection to humanitarian operations and workers. “Our African heads of state and government have targeted to silence all guns on this continent by the year 2020. Let us start that ambitious journey here in South Sudan. By doing so we will give real meaning to our mantra of African solutions for African problems,” he added, and cautioned that the peace process must start delivering substantive results to forestall a growing sense of frustration that this could yet be just another talk shop.
“To quote Ernest Hemingways, we must not mistake motion for action. Let us give hope to the people of South Sudan by delivering tangible results of constructive engagement for peace and stability. And we must not be afraid to try new ways. After all, to get something you have never had you got to do something you have never done”, said Namwamba.
Day one of the shuttle diplomacy also saw a reaffirmation by the IGAD Council of Ministers to deploy punitive measures against individuals violating the ceasefire agreement and the peace process. Punishment will include the freezing of assets and travel bans.
Today, the IGAD Ministers will meet high ranking officials of the government of South Sudan led by President Salva Kiir Myrdit. Next week the Team is scheduled to hold talks with SPLM-IO Leader Riek Machar in Pretoria, South Africa.