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South Sudan rivals may sign truce soon: sources


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From left: IGAD’s executive secretary Mahmoud Maalim, acting head of the South Sudan delegation, Makuei Lueth, IGAD special envoys Lazarus Sumbeiywo, Seyoum Mesfim and Mohamed Ahmed al-Dabi, head of South Sudan’s rebel delegation Taban Deng hold a joint press conference in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 6 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Carl De Souza)

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 15, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese government and rebel forces are edging closer to signing a peace deal, with sources saying an agreement on the cessation of hostilities could be reached as early as Thursday.

Peace talks between delegations from the South Sudanese government and rebel representatives resumed on Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

There has been no official announcement from regional mediators on the progress of Wednesday’s face-to face-talks between the two conflicting parties.

However, sources close to the ongoing peace talks told Sudan Tribune that the two parties are close to reaching an agreement.

Rebel representatives in Addis Ababa and government officials in Juba have declined Sudan Tribune’s requests for comment.

The sources said the two negotiating parties have agreed to discuss the two key issues of cessation of hostilities and the release of political prisoners separately.

The move is seen a breakthrough, as the rebels rejected to engage talks on the cessation of hostilities before to release 11 political detainees including Pagan Amum, Deng Alor and other prominent figures in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

Peace talks brokered by the regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) began nearly two weeks ago, but warring parties have so far struggled to reach a speedy ceasefire agreement

There has been no let up in the violence, which has spread across the country since clashes erupted in the capital, Juba, on 15 December between rival tribe members within the presidential guards.

Head of the IGAD mediation team, Seyoum Mesfin, said on Wednesday that the preconditions set by the two sides have become a major obstacle to sealing a ceasefire agreement aimed at ending ongoing fighting in South Sudan.

Talks stalled last week after the rebel delegation insisted that 11 senior political figures who have been detained in connection with the alleged coup attempt be released before any peace deal is signed.

Although the government initially agreed to unconditional talks, it has refused to release the prisoners, saying they must answer the charges in court, as required under South Sudanese law.

Mesfin, a former Ethiopian foreign minister, refused to comment on the progress of talks on Wednesday, but said he would make a statement to the media on Thursday.

The conflict in South Sudan has increasingly splintered along tribal lines, with forces loyal to the president and pro-Machar supporters fighting for control of strategic areas across the country.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) has said the number of dead from the conflict was nearing 10,000, with the UN putting the death toll at more than 1,000, although the agency has acknowledged that the true figure was likely to be “substantially” higher.

More than 200,000 people have been displaced inside South Sudan, including about 60,000 taking shelter at UN compounds around the country. Some 30,000 refugees have also fled to neighbouring countries, including Uganda and Sudan.


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  • 16 January 2014 13:03, by siddaw

    A That’s what we need as the common citizens of Junub Sudan. We need PEACE to prevail in South Sudan. Such senseless killing of the innocent people in South Sudan should not be uphold....<br/

    repondre message

    • 16 January 2014 15:29, by dinkdong

      These mediators and representatives from both sides are very stupid. They think they will be fooling people by saying the peace will be sign soon. One thing they should know is that, it is not only about keeping hope alive, but people are dying everyday. I am tied of their lies.

      repondre message

      • 16 January 2014 16:21, by Mi diit

        There should be no cessation of hostilities until all the detained prisoners are released and those thousands mercenary forces of Ugandan army, their helicopter gunships, tanks and other armored vehicles are withdrawn from South Sudan. Otherwise, our next thrust we will reach Juba, and move to Nimule and stop at Gulu for a while.

        repondre message

        • 16 January 2014 20:13, by Toney Toney Matot

          you are about to accept unconditional cease fire. the detained politician will never be released till they have to face justice for the atrocities inflicted in South Sudan by them and their foes Renegade Riek machar.machar is answerable to ICC in the first place. do not dream of shared government. you disgruntle

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  • 16 January 2014 13:25, by Bentiu son

    Dear pro democracy forces negotiators led by Hon Taban Deng Gai,plz do not sign this useless cessation of hostility before those prominent members of SPLM detainees release n withdrawal of Yower Museveni’s mercenaries from South Sudan territory.Don’t mind about outsiders pressure while they keep silence when genocidal President Salva Kiir massacred our people in Juba at their watch.We will fuck M7

    repondre message

    • 16 January 2014 14:46, by kuac Agol

      Bentiu Son
      Could you plse take gun and join white army if you are a true member than bulleting with word, mind you that SPLA forces are wiping out Riak forces out S.Sudan and that whether you want or not would follow the current govt structure not Riak,s structures, Kiir will remain President by any sense until sb else can take his position not Riak, the shoe he is wearing is oversize for uncl

      repondre message

  • 16 January 2014 13:34, by kuac Agol

    I hope the wives of the fake delegates of so call president of G.Upper Nile DR.Machar are hearing what their husbands are putting forward as they are trying to complicate the negotiating process by making the political detainees as a benchmark of their talks as they wanted them to be released, please tell your husbands that you re missing them for the fulfillment of your conjugal right

    repondre message

    • 16 January 2014 16:40, by Bentiu son

      Kuac Agol,Warap street boy brought up with stolen oil money from Greater Upper Nile region by his thievery uncles or dad.Why hurry up ya Dinka foolish majority of BEG to sign the cessation of hostility while your genocidal President Salva Kiir n his husband M7 massacred 4000 vulnerable unarmed Nuer civilians in cold blood within Juba 15/12/2013? No we shall first compensate them before final peace

      repondre message

  • 16 January 2014 15:36, by Native Boy

    • Both Govt and rebels preconditions prior to sincere political negotiations in Addis won’t take us but to massive senseless massacre and killing of the few ruminants of the 22 yr struggle for freedom for this country due to interests of one or two greedy rivals for power in the expenses of sweat teams like democracy, good governance, SPLM,ngot-ngot. Lets open up our eyes my beloved fellow citizen

    repondre message

  • 16 January 2014 23:39, by Joseph

    What take long for those politician to be taken to court, it because they have no charge. If they are charge of coup no coup, if of corruption every minister is corrupt include Kiir. the plane of Kiir to remain in power is known, better leave those politician.

    repondre message

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