ADDIS ABEBA – Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat and Dr. Riek Machar, leader of the SPLM/iO, have held talks in Addis Ababa today.
During the meeting at his office, the Chairperson said he “highlighted the urgent need to implement the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan”.
“I also reiterated the AU’s firm commitment to accompany the parties in this vital process,” Mahamat said while talking about the content of the meeting.
His succession with Machar took place a after a fight fighting broke out between government forces and militants near the country’s capital, Juba.
South Sudanese rebel group said it killed eight soldiers in the south of the nation on Tuesday, underlining the fragility of the oil-rich east African country after a partially implemented peace deal was signed last year, Reuters news agency reported.
Government forces attacked fighters from the National Salvation Front, led by renegade former General Thomas Cirillo, early in the morning at Lo’bonok in the Karpeto region of Central Equatoria State, said a statement signed by the group’s spokesman, Suba Manase.
The statement said the attackers included fighters from a larger former rebel group led by Riek Machar, which signed a peace deal with the government in September.
The agreement has only partially been implemented because the government said there is not enough money to disarm and integrate the rebel fighters into the army.
Civil war broke out in South Sudan in 2013, two years after it became independent from neighboring Sudan.
The conflict – marked by extreme sexual brutality and the abduction of young children – plunged parts of the country into famine and sparked Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.