The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General urges South Sudanese parties to engage in good faith in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)‑led High‑Level Revitalization Forum set to begin in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, next week. The Secretary‑General is convinced that with full backing by the region and the wider international community, this Forum provides a unique opportunity to bring all the parties to the conflict and other stakeholders to the negotiation table.
As the conflict in South Sudan enters its fifth year, the Secretary‑General urges all South Sudanese to end the violence and peacefully resolve the crisis in the country. He further urges them to seize the opportunity of this meeting to secure a new cessation of hostilities, address the implementation of the 2015 Peace Agreement, and develop revised timelines to reach its key benchmarks.
The Secretary-General reiterates his deep appreciation for the work of the IGAD Special Envoy Ismail Wais, Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission Chair former President Festus Mogae and the African Union High Representative former President Alpha Oumar Konaré, for preparing the ground for this inclusive Forum that carries the promise of moving South Sudan out of the current catastrophic humanitarian and human rights crisis by bringing an end to this protracted conflict.