JUBA — South Sudan peace monitors said Tuesday the next round of peace talks scheduled for April 26 has been postponed until further notice.

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) said the new date for the next phase of the High Level Revitalization Forum will be announced in due course by the chairperson of the council of ministers of the regional bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

“JMEC met with the IGAD special envoy, Ambassador Dr Ismail Wais, today in Juba and were informed of a change to the dates of the next phase of the High Level Revitalization Forum, that was due to commence in Addis Ababa on April 26,” JMEC said in a statement issued in Juba.

Sources said the postponement will give room for effective consultations with various stakeholders to the negotiations.

The forum was proposed in June 2017 to discuss full implementation of a 2015 peace agreement and to develop a revised and realistic timeline to realize sustainable peace in the country.

South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war that is now in its fifth year, which has taken a devastating toll on the people, creating one of the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 between the rival leaders under UN pressure led to the establishment of a transitional unity government in April, but was shattered by renewed fighting in July 2016.

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