NAIROBI– Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta leaves here Thursday for Addis Ababa to attend a summit of heads of State and government of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to discuss the latest developments of the security and political situation in South Sudan.

The summit comes amidst renewed efforts by the eight-nation Horn of Africa bloc to bring together the leaders of the country’s warring factions — President Salva Kiir against his former vice-president, Riek Machar — in the Ethiopian capital on Wednesday to negotiate a deal which would bring to an end to civil war that broke out in 2013, a year and a half after the country became the world’s youngest nation by peacefully seceding from Sudan.

President Kenyatta is IGAD’s Special Rapporteur for South Sudan.

State House Deputy Spokesperson Kanze Dena said here Wednesday that the president’s visit to Addis Ababa affirmed Kenya’s continued support to the ongoing peace process in South Sudan. Regional security remains an important factor to our national peace and development, she added.

In the continued search for peace and stability for our northern neighbour, Kenya will continue to support the IGAD-led process on South Sudan.

Dena emphasized that Kenya would remain committed to the course of peace and stability in South Sudan as an independent arbiter within the IGAD framework.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the civil war that broke out in late 2013 when troops loyal to Machar launched a rebellion against the government.

All sides in the now complex and multi-faceted war stand accused by the United Nations and other bodies of committing atrocities against civilians.