South Sudan President in Ethiopia for peace talks

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a one-day State visit, the presidency said.

President Kiir was accompanied by the country’s chief peace negotiator and government ministers for talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The South Sudanese leader is expected to brief the Ethiopian prime minister about South Sudan’s position on the peace talks led by the East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

“The president of the republic would discuss with the new Ethiopian Prime Minister the government’s position on the recent IGAD proposal on the revival of the country’s peace,” the presidency said.

It is Kiir’s first visit to Ethiopia since the resignation of former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Ethiopia is hosting peace talks aimed at reviving South Sudan’s stalled 2015 peace deal.

The second round of the High Level Revitalization Forum ended last week without any deal after the warring parties rejected a proposed power sharing deal developed by IGAD. IGAD is yet to announce the next date for the negotiations.

In a press statement, spokesperson of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), also said Kiir is expected to hold discussion with Abiy Ahmed on ways to end South Sudan’s civil war.

Ethiopia is the chair of IGAD that has been trying to reconcile South Sudan warring parties ever since civil war broke out in December 2013.

Ethiopia was also host to the peace agreement signed in August 2015, between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy Riek Machar. Renewed fighting in July 2016, however, led to the weakening of the agreement with South Sudan government and rebels accusing each other of restarting the hostilities.