S Sudan to host extraordinary IGAD cabinet meeting next week

South Sudan will be hosting the extraordinary meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)  on Tuesday next week.

The South Sudan acting minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation says the meeting will only focus on two regional agenda – peace and security in the IGAD and disaster and humanitarian issues.

“The ministry…would like to therefore inform the public that the purpose of this meeting is clear as outlined and that no internal matters of the member states will be discussed during this conference,” writes Deng Dau in a statement.

Though he points out that the meeting will not discuss the internal matters of South Sudan, the IGAD meeting will likely touch on the implementation of the 2018 peace agreement and the anticipated general elections in 2024.

The body, in its 3rd State of the IGAD Region Address by its Executive Secretary, Workneh Gebeyehu, on February 1, 2023 said the implementation of the peace agreement was still behind schedule.

Gebeyehu cited the constitution-making process and the conduct of national elections within the 24-month extension of the transitional period, which expires next year in December 2024.

The opposition party, SPLM-IO, also believes this meeting will address the deadlock over the removal of Angelina Teny and swapping of the security ministries – defense and interior.

Earlier this month, first vice president Dr. Riek Machar who leads SPLM-IO wrote to IGAD chairperson requesting  the guarantors to the peace deal to intervene in the escalating tension between his party –SPLM-IO and SPLM-IG over swapping and removal of defense minister.