South Sudan President Salva Kiir with his deputy General Taban Deng Gai.

Newly-appointed South Sudan First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, who led South Sudan government delegation to the summit known as Igad-Plus, emerged to say that he was ready to step down from his position and give it to Riek Machar once he returns to Juba.

IGAD is the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the IGAD-Plus summit included representatives of the United Nations, African Union, and the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission that monitors the progress in implementation of the peace agreement in Africa’s youngest nation.

The executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Mahboub Maalim said the Heads of State of member states have directed the chiefs of staff to go to Juba and discuss the modalities of deployment of the protection force with the government of South Sudan.

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“The government of South Sudan has accepted with no condition the deployment of protection force,” he said.

The meeting was chaired by the current chairperson of the Igad Assembly of Heads of State and Government who is also the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Presented Yoweri Museveni who is a regional authority on South Sudan and IGAD attended the meeting and is in favour of deployment of protectionist force in South Sudan.

Other IGAD member state leaders who attended the meeting include, Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia and Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.