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East African bloc urges S. Sudan's warring factions to silence guns
Last Updated: 2018-06-01 07:16 | Xinhua
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The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, on Thursday urged South Sudanese warring factions to abide by the ceasefire agreement and silence the guns.

The Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers Foreign Minister, Workneh Gebeyehu, said Thursday during the opening session of the bloc's council of ministers meeting in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa that "we have now reached at a decisive moment."

Gebeyehu stressed that parties involved in South Sudan violence "should spare no time to recommit to silence the guns and, once and for all, stick to the document they signed afresh in December 2017."

He stressed that IGAD would act on those that have violated the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais, who presented a status update of the High Level Revitalization Forum since its commencement on December last year, also called on the parties to "wisely" consider options in the peace process."

Prior to the peace process' opening session, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on Wednesday met and talked with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia, which is currently the chair of IGAD, has been actively engaging under the IGAD umbrella to reconcile South Sudan's warring parties ever since the civil war broke out in December 2013.

Due to the civil war, which started after a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Machar led to split in the army, the world's youngest nation has been embroiled in a conflict that has taken a devastating toll on the people, creating one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

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