A meeting of the IGAD chief of general staffs meeting in the Sudanese capital on Monday decided to give green light for the deployment of Regional Protection Force (RPF) to the war-torn South Sudan.
Eight IGAD chief of staffs are currently meeting in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to discuss and access the situation in South Sudan since the signing of the permanent ceasefire agreement in June by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar.
In a statement issued following the meeting, the military chiefs have decided to form a working group that will be headed by Sudan and will include representatives from the countries participating in the contribution of the regional force for South Sudan and will submit its report on November 19, 2018.
“A joint working group headed by Sudan, composed of representatives from all the countries participating in the Regional Protection Force, to assess the status of the Regional Protection Force on the ground and to submit its report on 19 November 2018 to the next meeting of the chiefs of staff In Ethiopia,” the statement further read.
The two leaders, Kiir and Machar, along with other opposition leaders in South Sudan also signed the long-awaited revitalized peace deal in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to end the ongoing civil war.
The agreement is a part of regional effort spearheaded by the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to end the five-year old brutal conflict in the world’s youngest nation.
The decision by the IGAD military chiefs for the deployment of a regional force to South Sudan is in line with an August 2016 United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution which decided to deploy a regional force to protect VIP and separate rival forces to enforce security across South Sudan.
The high-level meeting was attended by the Chiefs of Staff of Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Somalia, as well as the Chief of Staff of Rwanda, whose country is currently presiding over the current session of the African Union.
The military Chief of the state of Eritrea was not in attendance according to the Sudan’s official Sudan News Agency (SUNA).