ADDIS ABABA, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has assured that Ethiopia will continue to work for peace and stability in Africa in general and in neighbouring South Sudan in particular.

Abiy said this during discussions here Thursday with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit on ways of effectively implement the newly signed peace deal between the South Sudan government and rebel groups, and issues of bilateral ties.

South Sudanese warring factions on Wednesday signed the revitalized agreement here to end five years of civil war which broke out just a year and a half after South Sudan became the world’s youngest nations after seceding from Sudan.

After their discussions, Abiy told journalists that the journey of South Sudan towards peace would also benefit Ethiopia because over the past years, more than half a million people had sought refuge in Ethiopia after being displaced from South Sudan because of the conflict.

If this situation continued, it becomes difficult, not only for South Sudan, but also Ethiopia, which has to host many refugees fleeing conflict, Abiy said.

Efforts have been carried out over the past years to end the conflict in that country but now, the constructive diplomatic approach may make the peace deal fruitful as all neighboring countries played their part in resolving the conflict, he said.

Ethiopia takes great share in bringing Riik Macher, leader of the opposition faction, from South Africa where he had been staying, and in mediating among the rival parties for lasting peace.

This could be considered as part of Ethiopia’s contribution in ensuring peace and stability in the Horn of Africa in particular and Africa in general, said Abiy.

President Salva Kiir said Ethiopia had played the instrumental role in ensuring peace in South Sudan.

The president added: I asked him (Abiy) to push and help us in the implementation of the peace agreement so that we implement it in proper way.”

The two sides have also discussed on ways of furthering bilateral relations between Ethiopia and South Sudan.