The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) says it will push for full implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan.

SA Deputy President, David Mabuza, says the government will assist by continuing to play a pacifying role between the warring factions.

Mabuza was in Ethiopia on Monday for a working visit with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, who is also the chair of IGAD.

Five months after the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir and his key political rival Riek Machar agreed to sign a revitalized peace agreement, total stability is yet to be felt in the country. Fighting continues to be reported.

South Africa’s special envoy to South Sudan David Mabuza met with Ethiopia’s premier Abiy Ahmed to deliberate further on the situation.

“We have met with all the leaders of IGAD. We have met with North Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. There is an agreement that we need to move a bit faster in the implementation of the agreement and we have pledged our support as South Africa to the process of IGAD,” says Mabuza.

Splits within the main opposition party and the existence of other militia groups are making peace elusive.

Mabuza says that South Sudan will be on the agenda when the heads of state meet for their annual summit in Ethiopia in February.

“And from that meeting on the sidelines of the AU, we will then take cue from the leaders after the assessment of progress made where we are lagging behind in terms of timelines. We will get an indication. We’re waiting for that meeting to try and pick up all the loose ends to get this process moving,” says Mabuza.

Mabuza also met with the Sudan ambassador to Ethiopia.

“There are numerous challenges facing South Sudan: militia groups, fighting, mistrust and millions of citizens still refusing to come home. So, though there is a peace deal, achieving a peace that all South Sudanese believe in, may still be some way off,” says Mabuza.