IGAD meets on S. Sudan behind closed doors

ADDIS ABABA – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held a closed-door meeting in Addis Ababa on Wednesday to discuss South Sudan's year-long conflict, a diplomat has said.

"The meeting was devoted exclusively to South Sudan," the diplomat, requesting anonymity, told The Anadolu Agency.

The diplomat said that the meeting would hear a report on the South Sudanese peace process prepared by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council.

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has also presented a report on human rights violations in the violence-battered country.

"This [Obasanjo's report] has become a debatable issue, because some IGAD members say the report should be presented, while others argue it will complicate the task of IGAD," the diplomat said.

"This is the issue on which the session is deliberating," he added.

The AU has appointed a five-member committee headed by Obasanjo to investigate human rights abuses in South Sudan.

South Sudan, which became independent in 2011, has been shaken by violence since late 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused his sacked vice-president, Riek Machar, of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.

Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in fighting between the two rivals, close to two million have been uprooted from their homes, and hundreds of thousands now seek shelter in refugee camps across the country.

In recent months, the warring camps have held on-again, off-again peace talks in Addis Ababa under the auspices of IGAD, an East Africa regional grouping based in Djibouti.

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