International experts are urging the African Union and the United Nations to lead the peace process in South Sudan, saying that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development has failed to end the war in the young nation.
In a statement released Monday morning, the founding director of international lobby Enough Project John Prendergast said that Igad's approach towards the spiralling conflict is inadequate.
“Igad is currently charged with mediating but its approach is inadequate in the face of multiplying armed actors and a dying peace agreement from 2015," said Mr Prendergast.
He adds: "If Igad is unwilling to commit to revitalising the peace process and making it more inclusive and responsive to the evolving conflict, then the responsibility for an expanded peace initiative should shift to the African Union and United Nations; Because its war is spiralling, South Sudan needs a new, dynamic and inclusive peace process.”
Jon Temin, another top official in the same lobby group echoed Mr Prendergast's sentiments.
“If Igad is not prepared to lead and commit the necessary diplomatic resources and political will, that role should shift to the AU or the UN, with strong support from the US and other Troika members,” said Mr Temin.
He added: “International efforts require much greater urgency and conviction. It is imperative that international actors come to an agreement concerning who is leading the mediation and what role supporters can play.”
Brian Adeba, also a senior official at Enough Project said the worsening humanitarian conditions in South Sudan and the escalating violence require that international community leaders embrace a radical rethink of the stagnant peace process.
“The peace process has ground to a halt in great part because many South Sudanese elites, who have personally profited during these years of conflict have little incentive to negotiate in good faith," said Mr Adeba.
He added: “In order to push the warring parties towards a political solution, Igad and other leaders should support international efforts such as targeted financial pressures and an arms embargo. All concerned should also recognise how the conflict has evolved. It is no longer a binary duel, but involves many actors whose input is necessary to map a new path for peace.”