By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
May 5, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Workneh Gebeyehu, on Friday said he is working with the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations to find a durable resolution to the conflict in South Sudan.
Workneh made the remarks after he held discussions with Nicholas Haysom, UN Special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan here in Addis Ababa.
The two sides discussed the current situation in South Sudan and ways to resolving the crisis.
They further conferred on regional peace and security and agreed to work together to make sure peace and security in South Sudan as well as at the volatile east African region at large.
The Ethiopian foreign minister emphasised the importance of an inclusive peace process including the warring parties in South Sudan for a lasting peace in the newest nation.
Workneh further stressed a need for UN, AU and IGAD combined efforts to end violence in South Sudan.
While commending Ethiopia’s efforts for regional peace and security, the UN special envoy to his side vowed to closely work with Ethiopia and provide the needed support to ensure peace and security in South Sudan and the region as a whole.
Ethiopia, the venue of South Sudan peace process, had been playing a key role to sign the August 2015 peace agreement.
South Sudan gained independence in 2011 as an outcome of a peace agreement that ended continent’s longest-running civil war in Sudan.
The country, however, slides back to the conflict in 2013 after president Salva Kiir accused his former deputy turned rebel leader, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup.
The conflict has so far forced an estimated three million people (around a third of country’s population) flee to the neighbouring countries.
UNHCR officials in Addis Ababa say an average of 500 South Sudanese arrive per day in Ethiopia seeking shelter and food.