President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended parties to the South Sudan peace process for the progress achieved in recent months despite the health and economic difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President underscored the setting up of the executive arm of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), the agreement on responsibility sharing at state level as well as the appointments of state Governors as key success indicators in the peace process.
“I wish to note that in the last five months, we have witnessed a positive political momentum in the South Sudan peace process.
“Through significant compromises made by the parties, a number of important milestones and breakthroughs have been achieved,” President Kenyatta said.
The President spoke Tuesday at State House, Nairobi during a virtual meeting of the 36th assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government.
The Summit was convened by the Prime Minister of Sudan Dr Abdalla Hamdok who is also the current Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government to among other matters assess the South Sudan peace process and review regional Covid-19 response measures.
On the security situation in South Sudan, President Kenyatta said it was encouraging that the permanent ceasefire is holding.
He however cautioned against an increase in communal violence saying the insecurity risks worsening the already dire humanitarian situation in the country.
“If the situation remains unchecked, these seasonal and perennial conflicts could have wider repercussions on larger security environment,” President Kenyatta said.
The President appealed to South Sudanese leaders to work towards strengthening institutions of governance so as to attain sustainable peace and stability in their country.
On Covid-19, President Kenyatta commended joint response measures adopted by IGAD member states for helping slow down the spread of the virus in the region.
The President also spoke about Kenya’s election to the UN Security Council saying the country “will carry the aspirations of all (UN) member states and continue to prioritize regional and African issues during its tenure.”
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of IGAD Workneh Gebeyehu said the region’s socioeconomic stability has been strained by several current challenges among them the desert locust invasion, floods and the Covid-19 crisis.
Dr Gebeyehu said the multilateral approaches adopted by IGAD member states were helping alleviate adverse effects of these challenges on regional economies.
On the South Sudan peace process, Dr Gebeyehu applauded the steady progress achieved despite the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Besides President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Hamdok, other Heads of State and Government who addressed Tuesday’s summit were Presidents Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Mohamed Abdullahi (Somalia), Salva Kiir Mayardit (South Sudan), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Ethiopia).
Also present was Kenya’s special envoy to the South Sudan peace process Dr Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka as well as representatives of the African Union, the European Union and other IGAD partner institutions.
Foreign Affairs CS Amb Raychelle Omamo and Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua also attended the virtual meeting.