ROME - A delegation from the Community of Sant’Egidio has travelled to Addis Ababa for the start of negotiations to resolve the crisis in South Sudan. Over several days the parties (the government and the rebels led by former vice president Riek Machar) are meeting with the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to discuss a ceasefire and the liberation of some political prisoners.
The situation on the ground continues to be dramatic: the number of internally displaced people continues to grow due to the fighting in the city of Bor and above all in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
The Sant’Egidio delegation met the leaders of the two factions, the mediators and representatives of the international community present in Addis Ababa, expressing its concern for the humanitarian situation in the country and its support for efforts to come to a negotiated solution as soon as possible, as requested by the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Juba Santo Loku Pio in a call for an end to the “senseless war”, for reconciliation and for commitment to development.
During the discussions, the leaders of both delegations recalled long-standing ties with the Community of Sant’Egidio and visits to the Rome headquarters in Trastevere since the mid 1990s, and they thanked Sant’Egidio for its closeness and friendship with the population of South Sudan.
The Community of Sant’ Egidio will continue to follow and support the mediation efforts and to offer the support that will be necessary in future.