South Sudan conflict tops agenda at African Union summit

The 27th ordinary session of Africa’s Assembly of Heads of State and Government kicks off in Kigali, Rwanda with renewed fighting in South Sudan dominating the agenda.

KIGALI, RWANDA (JULY 17, 2016) (REUTERS) – The 27th ordinary session of the African Assembly of Heads of State and Government opened on Sunday (July 17) in Kigali, Rwanda with renewed fighting in South Sudan dominating the agenda.

Chadian President and current chair of the continental body, Idriss Deby, said the five-day upsurge of violence in South Sudan was unacceptable.

Deby called on warring parties loyal to rivals President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar to respect a peace agreement struck in August 2015.

The country’s unrest has claimed some 300 lives and forced more than 40,000 people from their homes.

The 54-member African Union also agreed to use some cash paid for import goods to help raise $1.2 billion starting next year, reducing its reliance on donors such as the World Bank that provides about three-quarters of funding for its programmes.

During the summit, the African Union is expected to launch the electronic passport (e-Passport), a flagship project of Africa’s Agenda 2063 with the view to facilitate free movement of persons, goods and services around the continent to help foster intra-Africa trade, integration and socio-economic development.