Home | News    Monday 6 January 2014

South Sudan rivals fail to commit to face-to-face talks

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 5, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese political rivals gathered in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa for peace talks on Saturday failed to agree on direct talks to end weeks of violence in the country.

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Grang Demebiar (C), the son of late Sudanese politician John Garang, talks to unidentified members of South Sudan rebel delegation during the opening ceremony of South Sudan’s negotiation in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, January 4, 2014 (Photo Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

Ethiopian officials on Saturday confirmed that delegates representing South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his former deputy and rebel leader, Riek Machar, were set to start direct talks on Sunday.

This is third time for the two warring parties to delay negotiations since they arrived in Addis Ababa on Wednesday. The talks are being brokered by East African regional bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Mediators refused comments to Sudan Tribune on why the direct talks are still facing setbacks.

However, ongoing fierce fighting on ground in parts of South Sudan as well as the rebels’ unmet demands for the release of senior political prisoners are believed to be causes delaying the formal ceasefire talks.

A General from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) was reportedly killed on Sunday in fighting outside the town of Bor in Jonglei state, which remains under rebel control.

Sources close to the talks late on Sunday told Sudan Tribune that the two sides returned to indirect talks through the IGAD mediators on Sunday as both sides failed to agree on an agenda.

The mediator’s top priority is for the warring parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire and the release of the remaining political prisoners.

However as fighting rages on for control of Jonglei and oil-producing Unity and Upper Nile states, the sides seem to be trying to gain the advantage on the ground to enhance their negotiating position.

The African Union (AU) and the international community has mounted pressure against the President Kiir and his former deputy, who Kiir sacked last year, to reach on an immediate truce.

The US government has also urged the two parties to commit to direct talks to bring a rapid and tangible progress to end the ongoing conflict which has claimed lives of over 1,000 people and displaced tens of thousands, according to the UN.

"The parties must use these talks to make rapid, tangible progress on a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access, and the status of political detainees," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement on Saturday.

"There can be no military solution to this conflict," she added.

"Forging a durable and lasting peace depends on resolving the underlying political causes of the conflict."

Fighting in the world’s youngest nation erupted mid-December in disputed circumstances. Kiir has accused forces loyal to Machar of staging a coup attempt.

Machar and the 11 politicians arrested after the fighting began, have all categorically dismissed the allegations, claiming that a fight began spontaneously among soldiers in the presidential guard.

(ST)

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  • 6 January 2014 09:04, by Naath

    Strong hole of criminal and hopeless kiir LURI village is under attack by defected general gatwech dual,General Mamuor and other is already confirm now.kiir is on the run,12 vehicles from uganda troops reinforcement have capture by Chuol Gaika and David Yu Yu so now Uganda road is already close, also freedom fighter are advancing toword Airport to make sure kiir is not leaving the country

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    • 6 January 2014 09:16, by Peter Mading

      Good information but let your dreams be realistic. In history, the man you are describing as hopeless is a hero in this country and had never one time surrender to enemy. He is a firm man. The moment you get hold of him that will be the end of Nuer and Dinka in the South Sudan Map. Don’t let the magic spirit mislead you.

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      • 6 January 2014 10:28, by Ahmed Chol

        Mabior Garang is wearing a bow tie, is he in a picnic party? It is time for the family of Nyandeng and her son to stay home and leave politics for a while. This is not how Garang played politics, he should looked behind his back to see how many of his kins are with him. Power is people! You will be lonely like a Akuot Atem there.

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        • 6 January 2014 11:28, by choldit

          Ahmed Chol,
          U read diff in this post. Wasp up? Did the wind change its course or just a glance in the other dir? Everything needs strength and commitment that is what defines a man. Yes this war has took an ethnic from its start on 15/12/2013.

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  • 6 January 2014 09:10, by Suleiman

    Congartulation for Teny Dhurgon’s delagation for refusing talk with stupid Kiir’s delagation.
    It happen yesterday that Ugandan soldiers were the one lead the attack to where Riek Machar’s force were but good enough they were killed like flies and insects.
    Let stupid Kiir face the consequences and aploygise, otherwise, no talk.

    repondre message

  • 6 January 2014 09:19, by Suleiman

    Look at the stupid President being blindfool by greed President of Uganda.
    After juba fall/ capture by Teny Dhurgon, we will take action and see why greedy President of Uganda involved in to South Sudan affairs.

    repondre message

    • 6 January 2014 09:46, by Suleiman

      My friend Peter Mading, as of today, keep it as a record that Kiir will be capture.
      Upto 10th of this month, you wil see the consequences.

      repondre message

  • 6 January 2014 12:59, by Jalaby


    Not really sure but if we can judge from pictures then this picture tells me these people look more comedians rather than serious people who can make peace!!

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    • 6 January 2014 14:10, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

      They are listening to the confused drug addict who needs to be born again. Did his father Dr. John Garang de Mabior whom Dr. Fool Riek Machar wanted to kill in 1991 argue CPA like that? To be like Uhuru Kenyatta, you need to scale up education ladder, build yourself up socially, financially, politically and declare yourself the next flag bearer of the nation.

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  • 6 January 2014 22:45, by Bolong

    No, Mabior Garang Mabior, you need to review your dad dictionary before jumping in politics. Your mom is misleading you. Will you be able to judge your dad era?.

    repondre message

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