ADDIS ABABA,– Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, in his capacity as Chair of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has called upon the rival parties in South Sudan to refrain from violence and to take the necessary steps to restore peace and stability in the capital, Juba, and other parts of the country.

A statement issued by IGAD, an eight-nation Horn of Africa bloc, here Sunday quoted Hailmemariam as making the call following reports on clashes in Juba and other parts of South Sudan last Friday the country.

He stressed that both the government and the opposition in South Sudan are duty bound to exercise restraint and avoid measures likely to escalate the situation.

IGAD believes that the escalation of the current crisis will likely result in unmitigated violence of colossal proportions against civilians, which is not only a disservice to the peoples of South Sudan, but also a deliberate effort to undermine the resolve of the regional countries, IGAD and the international community.

In the light of the developments unfolding in Juba and other parts of the country, there appears a tendency on the parts of some “unruly elements” to backtrack on the commitments to peace, said the statement.

If indications are any guide, the situation is likely to spiral out of control and expose millions of civilians to a senseless violence and the whole country to an interminable chaos unless the leaders of the country are ready to rise up to the challenge sooner rather than later.

While encouraged by the call for calm by the leaders of the two sides, efforts needed to be redoubled to help restore peace and stability in the country, the statement said.

Hailemariam said in in the statement that IGAD’s Executive Council would soon convene to take stock of the situation on the ground and to deliberate on next courses of action and in the meantime he called on the parties to refrain from violence.

Source: Name News Network