Time is of the essence as regional leaders, international community try to secure South Sudan peace deal

LET EVERYBODY AGREE TO THE DEAL: President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is appealing to the rebels to agree to the cease fire agreement once and for all

LET EVERYBODY AGREE TO THE DEAL: President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is appealing to the rebels to agree to the cease fire agreement once and for all

President Salva Kiir and leaders of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states and international partners arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Sunday in preparations for Monday’s high stakes summit on South Sudan.

The stakeholders are racing against time to make sure warring parties in South Sudan agree to a lasting peace deal before the August 17 deadline passes.

The leaders of South Sudan, world’s and Africa’s newest nation are under intense international and regional pressure to sign a deal that end the 20-month conflict before the end of Monday or face sanctions.

Conflict broke out in the oil rich nation in 2013 after former Vice President Riek Machar fell out with President Salva Kiir government and formed a rebel force fighting the government.

UN has warned of a humanitarian crisis as hungry and malnourished women and children are languishing in refugee camps. The conflict has driven more than 2 million of their homes and country.

Before leaving for Ethiopia, the South Sudanese leader Kiir warned he might not sign on to the highly anticipated agreement Monday because not all those who fighting his government support the negotiations.

“A peace that cannot be sustained cannot be signed,” Kiir told AFP adding “You should sign something that you will enjoy. If it is signed today and then tomorrow we go back to war, then what have we achieved?”

Riek Machar-led faction is not united, a few days ago a number of commanders in the force split from Machar and former their own group fighting both Machar and the government. This move have impacted the negotiations as Machar appears to be weak.

Throughout the course of this conflict, about 7 deals have been reached and broken hours or days and experts fear history will repeat itself.

Over the weekend, leaders of Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia met in Addis Ababa to discuss the conflict that has spilled out in neighbouring countries in terms of refugees.

The international community including UN, US and Britain have threatened to sanction South Sudan leaders if they don’t hammer out meaningful deal that ends the devastating conflict.

UN has already sanctioned generals on both sides of the conflict accusing them of gross human rights violations including raping and killing women and children.

Obama and regional leaders discussing the "Vexing"  subject of South Sudan Conflict

Obama and regional leaders discussing the “Vexing” subject of South Sudan Conflict

In his recent visit to Africa, President Barack Obama of the United States convened a regional “Consultative meeting on how to make progress on the vexing subject” of South Sudan, at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

And in a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Obama said “the situation is dire and we agree that the best way to stop the fighting is for the South Sudanese leaders to put their country first with a peace agreement that ends the fighting,”