IGAD to deploy peacekeepers to South Sudan

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East Africa trade bloc, plans to deploy peacekeepers in South Sudan by the end of April, an official close to South Sudanese peace talks said Thursday.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who currently serves as IGAD chairman, told visiting South Sudanese President Salva Kiir that IGAD planned to send a peacekeeping force to South Sudan as the situation on the ground required, the official told Anadolu Agency.

According to the official, the peacekeeping force will be composed of troops from all five IGAD member states: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia.
Eritrea’s membership in IGAD is currently suspended.

South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of trying to overthrow his regime.

The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, with the U.N. estimating that some one million South Sudanese have been displaced by the recent violence.

Following weeks of IGAD-mediated peace talks in Addis Ababa, the two sides signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in January.

They have yet to reach an agreement, however, to resolve the ongoing conflict.

Source Anadolu Agency.

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