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E. African regional mediators meet rebel leader in S. Sudan


January 11, 2014 (JUBA/ADDIS ABABA) – Regional mediators from the East African regional bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) arrived in South Sudan on Saturday after ongoing peace talks in the Ethiopian capital stalled.

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United States special envoy to Sudans Donald Booth (not shown) together with IGAD’s mediators Ethiopian former foreign minister Seyoum Mesfin (L), Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Moustafa El Dabi (R) at an undisclosed location in South Sudan to meet former VP Riek Machar January 11, 2014 (Photo: Handout by Machar negotiators)

The peace talks between representatives of President Salva Kiir former vice president-turned rebel, Riek Machar, were suspended after disagreements over the sensitive issue of political prisoners.

Negotiators on rebel side have insisted on the release of the presumably pro-Machar political figures before signing any peace agreement thus dashing regional and international hopes of reaching a speedy ceasefire pact.

Rebels said they won’t sign truce that doesn’t ensure the release of the 11 political figures that remain detained in connection with an alleged coup attempt in mid-December, a demand once again rejected by government delegations.

Those held by South Sudan government include

- Deng Alor, former minister of cabinet affairs
- Pagan Amum, former SPLM secretary general
- Cirino Iteng, former minister of culture
- Madut Biar Yel, former minister for telecommunication and postal services
- Oyai Deng Ajak, former minister for national security in the office of the president
- Majak D’ Agoot, former deputy minister of defence
- Chol Tong Magay, former governor of Lakes state
- Ezekiel Gatkuoth Lul, former ambassador to the United States
- John Luk Jok, former justice minister
- Kosti Manibe, former minister of finance
- Gier Chuang Aluong, former minister of roads and bridges

South Sudan government representatives, including the country’s information minister told journalists in Addis Ababa that the detainees are perpetrators of a coup and their case should be handled by domestic courts and in accordance to the laws of the land.

“President Kiir will not order the release of the political prisoners. If he did so it will be an act contrary to constitution of the country,” a South Sudan government representative who asked anonymity told Sudan Tribune.

A United States on Friday said it saw no evidence of an attempted coup.

“We have not seen any evidence of a coup attempt,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The violence was “an armed rebellion” against the government, she added.

After peace talks were delayed, mediators led by Ethiopian former foreign minister Seyoum Mesfin on Saturday left for South Sudan to meet and convince Machar to sign a truce to end weeks of violence that has hit the world’s newest nation.

Rebel negotiators here in Addis Ababa are not optimistic that IGAD mediators would return from South Sudan with a fruitful outcome.

“They [mediators] will return with a complete dismissal” Gérard Prunnier, a scholar who is close to rebel negotiators team, told Sudan Tribune.

When asked when talks would resume Prunnier said he doesn’t think the two sides would return for face to face talks further accusing the international community of “bias”

He said the international community is taking side of Juba after government army made important military gains on the ground particularly after retaking Unity state capital of Bentiu.

“The international community is saying Machar is defeated and he has to surrender” said Prunnier.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has urged South Sudan government to release political prisoners so as ceasefire deal is facilitated.

Analysts say South Sudan could face sanctions if the two warring sides fail to seal a peace deal but the government in Juba argues any possible sanctions imposed on the country would be considered as a move of cooperation with rebels.

Fighting in South Sudan which erupted in mid-December has left an estimated 1,500 people killed and forced about 200,000 flee their home.


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  • 12 January 2014 06:46, by George Bol

    SPLA/M has confirmed the location of Riek Machar- Nasir in Upper Nile. Matter of time and he will be caught in hiding.
    He must surrender before the music. The SPLA is closing corners of Bor and within days, the rebels will be on the run.
    Time for Nuer to chose bn good or bad! This is what Nuer want.

    repondre message

    • 12 January 2014 06:50, by Akook

      Funny enough is the way my fellow Dinkas disrespect Nuers as a whole! Look at this dude brother of mind, George Bol generalising Nuers as if Nuers like James Hoth, Pul Jang, Gordon Buay are not fighting still defending Salva Kiir from their own brothers like Riek. Pathetic!!!

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      • 12 January 2014 07:24, by Majongdit

        I am a Dinka and I agree with you. It is the rebels against the government forces, not Nuer vs Dinka.

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        • 12 January 2014 11:13, by Hardlinner

          both nuer rebels and spla forces should tell their bosses to accept peace without precondition or leave it to kiir and riek to battle it out themselves. these filthy politicians are making Africa look like lawless continent. nuers and dinkas should cease themselves from these madness war. we should behave like civilians in western countries. the less we support the greedy politicians, the lesser.

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        • 12 January 2014 11:17, by Hardlinner

          the less we support the greedy politicians, the lesser the wars. it is the responsibility of the civilians to say no rebellion/coup and bad rules/corruption. we must all say no wars. we have seen the outcome war in bentiu, bor and malakal. the sufferers are the innocern civilians not kiir or riek families.

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          • 12 January 2014 12:31, by Muorcienggok

            Hardliner you are right, I am very sure if we do not follow greedy and short-visioned politicians who think South Sudan is theirs who would want to die in power or under look whatever position offered to them though they do not deserve it. I am very certain if they are not followed one would go into the bush and comes back alone. I blame so much those who fight on behave of those with fat accounts

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    • 12 January 2014 08:30, by jubaone

      An intelligent jenge would at least know that military victories do not necessarily imply a won war. This was the case between the SPLA and the NIF of Bashir. Only then the CPA was signed. What does this mean even if you killed Machar? Nothing. Fundamental problems of jenge greed, corruption (Bandits and Benydits!!),Kokora (federalism), power sharing etc have to be addressed

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  • 12 January 2014 07:15, by George Bol

    For Riek Machar to be rich like what was about to happen in S.Sudan was almost coincident,while a setback during the war. Good that he is already sleeping in different mattress. Having that complex in Juba was embarrassing to people of the nation. He had done more damage than good-God has punished devil riek

    repondre message

    • 12 January 2014 07:56, by allan

      To kim deng u always talk abt dinka kingdom is number saying it what even u want tens times no problem we dinkas are very good people come to warrap n see how many nuer we are hosted n they are moving free no problem that how u can tell dinka were born wit good heart

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  • 12 January 2014 07:58, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Please DINKAS & NUERS nothing should be achieve by both sides millitarily. It is disater of innocent civilian.. All of you, the writers are not enjoying frontline. You are just eating chapati, kasira and matoko. We are better to preach peace not agitate other side by side.

    repondre message

    • 12 January 2014 11:24, by Hardlinner

      ayuiu, none of people on this board are sympathizer. they don’t care about what nuer and dinka civilians are going through in this stupid war. any way I wouldn’t blame them because the lack IQ to reason.

      repondre message

  • 12 January 2014 08:21, by Naath Raani

    Riek will not sign that. Salva Killer will not laugh any more. No whisky or reptiles call Marialnyang, in other word Agany.

    repondre message

  • 12 January 2014 08:46, by Marco Bul

    This rebellion could have been welcome if Nuer didn’t take it personal.It will not succeed coz all the soldiers and the aim is anti-Dinka.

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  • 12 January 2014 08:51, by Axios

    He revealed himself? Foolish move, his location will be traced now.

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  • 12 January 2014 20:18, by American Missile.

    Dr Riek Machar has been misled by Nuer Monsters that he will be a president of the Republic of South Sudan.God is fighting Demons or Devil in South Sudan through DEVIL Believers.
    God will never allow this person to rules this country even if it can be bewitch. Shame on him.

    repondre message

    • 12 January 2014 21:07, by lakoda

      America Gogrial
      Riek is fighting for Democracy government not what Stupid president is doing, if Riek will not be President other Nuer will be President, fight must continuous till you surrender to freedom fighters. Two brig today Marach Akon , Deng Mathel and other 13 killed this evening we will finish you guys. you started it let the fight continuous.

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  • 13 January 2014 07:07, by Sudan virus

    What happened was real a failed coup attempt!Machar must accept that so that for the seek of peace, the detainees are release.
    Otherwise, it will not be reasonable to release them on the bases that they didn’t involve in the failed attempt coup.
    If the international community real wants the peace talks to materialize, they have press Machar to do so.
    If they insists that what is happening is just

    repondre message

  • 13 January 2014 07:12, by Sudan virus

    a rebellion, then they (the international community) is behind that.
    I repeat! The rebellion in South Sudan is a result of a failed coup attempt by over whelming power ambition Riak Machar backed by former government corrupt personnel.

    repondre message

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