Home | News    Wednesday 8 January 2014

S. Sudan’s warring parties begin direct talks to end conflict

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January 7, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA/JUBA) – Peace negotiators representing South Sudan government and officials who rebelled against it last month began face-to-face peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

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South Sudanese rebel delegation chief Taban Deng (left) and members of his delegation attend talks in Addis Ababa on January 4, 2014 to try and broker a ceasefire (AFP/Solan Gemechu)

The ceasefire talks, which are being brokered by the East African regional bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), have faced a series of delays since the two warring parties arrived in Addis Ababa a week ago.

Although the direct talks were welcomed by regional leaders, sources close to the peace talks told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that it is "unlikely" the two rival factions would strike a ceasefire deal in the coming days.

Delegations representing President Salva Kiir and rebels loyal to his former deputy Riek Machar both agreed on Monday to start direct talks to end three weeks of conflict in the world’s newest nation. Taban Deng Gai, a former governor of Unity state governor currently leads the rebel delegation while South Sudan’s former foreign minister Nhial Deng Nhial leads the government team.

Seyoum Mesfin, the former Ethiopian foreign minister, now the IGAD lead mediator, said the direct talks would mainly focus on two issues; cessation of hostilities and the release of the nine remaining political prisoners held in the aftermath of the mid-December outbreak of violence on Juba, the South Sudan capital.

President Kiir implicated Machar over the violence, which the latter denies. An estimated over 1,000 people, according to the United Nations, have been killed and nearly 200,000 displaced in South Sudan’s worst-ever post-independence conflict.

As close-door talks began on Tuesday, South Sudan said it would not accept any rebel preconditions detrimental to negotiations seeking an end to weeks of violence.

South Sudan’s information minister said his government was ready for “smooth peace”, adding they would decline any “preconditions inserted” during ongoing talks.

“It was very clear that we are in for talks without preconditions. Our president has been very clear from the 16 December, from day one, that we are ready for talks without conditions”, said Michael Makuei Lueth.

“We are not ready to negotiate on preconditions”, he added, despite international pressure for South Sudan to release detained politicians aligned with Machar.

“We have law that respect land, constitution and coup-related issues; this is an attempted coup - if we released those politicians, it is a capital offence to South Sudan law”, stressed Leuth, also South Sudan government spokesperson.

The detained politicians would be required to answer the allegations as required under South Sudanese law, he added.

READY FOR TALKS

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the South Sudanese rebel forces, Hassien Maar Nyuot, told reporters in Addis Ababa that they were ready to talk peace with government on a range of political issues.

Nyuot, a former deputy governor of Jonglei state, joined the anti-government rebellion on 16 December, along with former minister of education Stephen Par, his law enforcement counterpart, Gabriel Dup and several other junior officers.

“We are going to discuss a long list of issues: political issues to do with issues within the SPLM, the root causes of the conflict and issues of governance, and these will definitely follow”, he said.

NO AGREEMENT

South Sudan’s chief negotiator, Nhial Deng Nhial, said the government is committed to a cessation of hostilities, but no agreement had yet been reached.

Last month’s clashes, which initially started in Juba, later spread to other regions across South Sudan, pitting members of Kiir’s ethnic Dinka community against Machar’s Nuer tribe. Both sides appear to believe that control of the country’s key towns would give them a stronger position during the Addis Ababa negotiations.

Analysts, however, anticipate it could take a few days for both parties to reach a deal.

(ST)

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  • 8 January 08:38, by Big Boy

    Wow RSS/Rebels
    South Sudan govmt keep it up your commitment not to release the remained detainees of Riak till they face the law.and Riak keep it up too!! your commitment not to negotiations with Govrmt unleast they release your mates.. but which in which? and who ’ll compromise to each other’s and accepted negotiations without condition and precondition..

    repondre message

  • 8 January 08:40, by omoni jr.

    Cash: 5 million u.s dollars reward on kiir head.....
    anyone killed or injured will be rewarded for the amount of money mentioned above.

    repondre message

    • 8 January 08:52, by Big Boy

      Why not you,you are seeking bloodshed in this country as i know your father Riak doe not have future in this country since he joined spla then to ncp and to the spla again then to ncp and finally when he heard the cpa is almost been signed then he joined again to the spla for half break as everyone knows that..but bro what you wish to distablising the country is coming soon as you wishing it!

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  • 8 January 08:43, by Wicdail

    “We have law that respect land, constitution and coup-related issues; this is an attempted coup - if we released those politicians, it is a capital offence to South Sudan law”, stressed Leuth,. What a craps from a son of slave, a liar as his name present? What constitution are you talking about? If you respects that constitution, this killing could have not occurred.

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    • 8 January 09:09, by Tutbol

      The IGAD mediators & the international community must also respect S Sudan’s laws. The detained politicians are accused of violating S Sudan’s laws---people have died & may people & many thousands others are now still in a bad shape...because of the accused politicians that the wanted criminals wanted to be freed without first answer their charges....

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      • 8 January 09:19, by Tutbol

        where in the world where people who committed a treason against an elected govt allowed to walkout scot free before they answer their charges If the mediators & the international community is honest in this mediation? The rebels are acting like hostage takers who demand a ransoms from the hostages---in this case, the S Sudanese & their govt are hostages & the Riek Machar’s rebels are....

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        • 8 January 09:26, by Tutbol

          the hostage takers---they have taken S Sudanese hostage. And now the IGAD & the international community want the govt of S Sudanese to cave-in to hostage takers by releasing their comrades. Okay, should the govt of S Sudan releases these accused, to the hostages; are they going to come back to S Sudan or are they going to live in the shadows like many hostage takers around the world....

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          • 8 January 09:33, by Tutbol

            for they don’t come back and live freely in the communities in which they have taken hostage before since their identities are known by the authorities of those communities. The rebels and their boss, Riek Machar are playing games with S Sudanese & they know they very very serious cases to answer to S Sudanese. Riek Machar addiction to coups & rebellions has gone out of proportion...

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            • 8 January 09:42, by Tutbol

              and our IGAD and the international community are not calling Riek Machar his real name; a psychopath & a murderer. Every rebellion he makes, he kills a lot of S Sudanese & then comes back as a human beings to ask the same people he had caused a lot of pains to give him another shot?! The International community should just arrest Riek Machar to save S Sudanese from his psychopathic maniacs.

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              • 8 January 11:15, by Jewish Ally

                welcome back all ye people of God and embrace peace among yourselves for I am tried of your senseless wars. let look at ourselves as one people but not enemies.
                KA AN MI CA DUER BA KULAWA KE NGA? EE JIN KE RO BA LUO, JIN YESU. BA MUOL BA NI JI.
                LET ALL REPENT AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND GOD WILL POUR HIS BLESSING ON US.

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                • 8 January 15:11, by Tiger

                  Jewish Ally.
                  Yes brother we need peace,war have nothing to gain from it except destroying our own images in the face of this world.Nuer and Dinka are brothers after all.

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              • 8 January 17:04, by what the hell

                turbo Riek Machar have to be terminated from south Sudan this guy is not human he dose not have felling for his people the man is psychopath no regard,the people of south Sudan are better off without this maniacs, message for the Nuer people fine a better politician to represent you instate of this ideate,

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  • 8 January 09:29, by munene

    look at taban ya taban, u have nothing to say in the peace deal cuz you are just afood lot
    yesterday u were good friend to kiir cuz of being gov, and now that u were sack you joint defector thinking that you shall become the VP, that is gr8 lie from nyandeng and D agot they will kill you 1 by 1
    marks my words

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  • 8 January 09:58, by Nyesi Ta

    God! you have seen the level of hatred and you know the hearts of south sudanese from deep inside. May you Grant destruction to the hearts filled with the venomous hate before you free south sudan from this violence, for you know the haters and the lovers of our country, Amen!

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  • 8 January 10:12, by wen yar

    I don’t really know whether some people have a sense of nationalist? if they, why are they supporting this messes?
    Dr. Riak killed so many Nuer and still bland Nuer follow him and believe in his mess.
    I personally would have vote for him democratically but this way,No!! am not a fool like others.
    May God rest their Souls
    Amen

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  • 8 January 10:46, by hamil

    PEACE, LOVE and UNITY is the cry of the Majority in South Sudan some comments on this forum are meant are to fuel more hatred but this will not solve the situation. All these people maikng comments in support of their leaders or tribes should advocate for peace in our Nation we need a Nation for all tribes of South Sudan. Tribalism does not make any sense

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    • 8 January 15:32, by Nyesi Ta

      At the moment Peace, Love, and Unity has no room in our country given the level of hatred and anger. As a matter of reality P, L, & U can’t coexist with Hate. If you want P then go for W, a dirty war that must last for decades till all parties involved are really exhausted that is when the terms of P becomes apparent to all. Some tribes in South Sudan are held hostages by this senseless conflict.

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      • 8 January 15:39, by Nyesi Ta

        Till all ethnicities becomes part of this conflict and mess in which millions perish there will be no P, L, & U in South Sudan. This time prayers won’t help but only destruction may help bring us into our senses. period!

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  • 8 January 11:07, by kumkan

    Someone from Egypt told me that there are reports that Kiir and Museveni of Uganda are planning to take contaminated food aid to war front as a tactics to poison the Nuer forces by withdrawing. Let’s spread this too.’’

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    • 8 January 13:25, by Oppressor

      Are you out of your mind ????? some one from Egypt do u believe that Egyptian got nothing to do here & we Sudanese will never participate in such bloody CIVIL WAR so stop ur idiocy & be rational when u talk...

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  • 8 January 14:58, by lakoda

    IGAD leave stupid president alone who does not understand the differences between a military state and a democratic state.Dr. machar just capture Juba so that Kiir will understand thing when he defecate while running for help out side Juba, chase Mootoke bitch whom he brought to guards him, after realization that his Dinka defecate when heard mighty Nuer coming to Juba.

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    • 8 January 18:47, by Tutbol

      lakoda,
      You are talking of democracy uncle and the same time you are calling Riek Machar to capture Juba so that Kiir sees democracy. You mean Riek Machar will use military against S Sudanese people to bring Democracy to S Sudanese people, is that what you mean uncle? If yes? then you all lost it with Riek Machar uncle. If no, then there was no need for you & Riek Machar to rebel uncle, get it?

      repondre message

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