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Civil society group to IGAD: Take practical steps

The civil society group, Community Empowerment for Progress Organization has petitioned IGAD to take practical steps to address the situation in South Sudan.

IGAD heads of state and government are holding an emergency meeting in Addis Ababa today to discuss the situation.

The extraordinary meeting was called for by the Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalgn, who is the chairperson of the regional body.

In a statement issued in Djibouti, IGAD said the meeting is to discuss the security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan.

The regional body said the security situation is worsening and has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of internally displaced persons and refugees.

The statement says this requires IGAD leaders to speak with one voice to end the crisis and warned that the situation is expected to worsen with the onset of the rainy season.

In a statement, the civil society group, CEPO says it expects the regional leaders to take practical steps to address the political crisis in South Sudan.

The CEPO Executive Director, Edmond Yakani, says the trend of violence is increasing in the country and civilians are often the victims.

He says IGAD should decide on concrete measures to ensure the parties adhere to the permanent ceasefire they signed the peace agreement.

President Salva Kiir was invited for the meeting, but last week, the Presidential Press Secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny, told Eye Radio the President would not travel to Addis Ababa.

Mr. Ateny said the President had some commitments to address in the country.