President Uhuru Kenyatta (back centre) and Ethiopia Premier witness the signing of peace pact between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Dr Riek Machar in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the 29th Extra ordinary heads of State and government meeting. PHOTO | PSCU 

The European Union is seeking involvement of the international community in South Sudan peace talks citing “lack of progress in peace process”

In a statement issued from Brussels on Thursday, EU External Action spokesperson Ms Catherine Ray said they support the IGAD-led talks and “encourages a closer involvement of the international community.”

“Despite considerable efforts by the IGAD mediation and the apparently successful outcome of the Arusha talks between SPLM factions, the agreement signed in Addis Ababa on 2 February between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar has made little significant progress towards a comprehensive peace agreement in South Sudan,” Ms Ray said.

She said EU supports regional block IGAD and Africa Union warnings of imposing sanctions if the two sides violate ceasefire agreement.

“Leaders of all groups and parties should go beyond short-term interests and build on the initial talks to make the necessary compromises for peace, for the benefit of all the people of South Sudan,” she added.

Ms Ray said the conflict that broke out over a year ago has been a disaster for the people of South Sudan and has put at risk the stability of the entire region.

“It is essential the current negotiations are completed no later than 5 March,” she said.

President Kiir and rebel leader Dr Machar signed a new agreement on February 2 to end more than 13 months of fighting in a civil war that has left tens of thousands dead.

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