Home | News    Saturday 18 January 2014

Ethiopia urges global community to encourage S. Sudan rivals to stop fighting

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 17, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Ethiopian government is calling on the international community to encourage warring factions in South Sudan to sign a ceasefire agreement to end over a month of fighting that has killed over 1,000 people.

The calls come as ongoing ceasefire talks between South Sudan government and rebels in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa continue without a truce being reached, while the rebels stick to their demands that eleven detainees in Juba be released.

South Sudan’s government has refused to release the detainees, despite their detention contravening the young country’s constitution.

Those detained have told East African mediators from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that their status should not impeded any deal between the army, which is loyal to President Salva Kiir and soldiers who have defected and are under the command of former Vice President Riek Machar.

Ethiopia’s deputy foreign affairs minister, Berhane Gebrekirstos, underscored a need for the international community to unequivocally encourage the two political rivals to settle their differences and quickly reach an agreement.

While holding talks with Egon Kochanke, Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel at Germany’s Foreign Affairs, the Ethiopian official said although no deal is signed so far the ongoing talks have largely been positive.

Following the discussions, Kochanke said "Germany believes an African solution to the problems in South Sudan would be far better than any external one."

He added his country, as well as the European Union (EU), is ready for any contributions that would hasten the South Sudanese peace process.

The ongoing talks between Kiir and Machar’s delegations have remain hinged over the release of the 11 political figures from the ruling party who were detained soon after the conflict began on December 15.

Kiir accuses Machar and his supporters of attempting to stage a coup. Despite now leading a rebellion about the government, Machar - as well as his supporters and those detained - deny this. They claiming Kiir used infighting within the army to silence the growing criticism of his leadership.

Regional mediators led by Ethiopia’s former foreign minister, Seyoum Mesfin, are in Juba to further press both sides to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

The fighting in the world’s youngest nation has forced over 500,000 flee their homes, according to the United Nations. The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says that the number of dead is "substantially in excess" of the 1,000 figure that has been reported for the last few weeks.

An International Crisis Group analyst has estimated that "Given the intensity of fighting in over 30 different locations in the past three weeks" the death toll could be "approaching 10,000".

Mediators in Addis Ababa are hoping the two sides will sign a peace deal before Monday after the mediating team returns from Juba.

Some observers are positive that the regional mediators will this time persuade Kiir and Machar to unconditionally accept peace agreement.

Ethiopia’s foreign affairs ministry spokesperson, Dina Mufti, on Friday said regional mediators are exerting every effort to bring the two sides strike a cessation of hostilities agreement.

He further went on to saying that if the two parties fail to sign a ceasefire agreement; IGAD will continue mediating between the two sides until their differences are settled.

(ST)

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  • 18 January 06:45, by Tutbol

    "South Sudan’s government has refused to release the detainees, despite their detention contravening the young country’s constitution"
    Those demanding the release of the detained politicians by the govt of S Sudanese are making are emboldening Riek Machar with his criminal gangs from destroying our country...

    repondre message

    • 18 January 07:06, by Tutbol

      but they know, that S Sudanese & their govt would not be intimidated by our criminals from Europe & the US any more. Instead of sympathizing with the govt of S Sudan & S Sudanese; they want to intimidate the govt of S Sudan to cave-in to their perceived & their the Riek Machar they are openly supporting with media....

      repondre message

      • 18 January 07:17, by Tutbol

        The so-called international community with its MONSTROUS NGOs & its UNIMISS have shown their devil colours to S Sudanese & for our country to be peaceful any traces of the US, UK, France & the UNIMISS has to be removed in our S Sudan. Why Toby Lanzar is not yet in jail or expelled out of the country is to anyone guess?....

        repondre message

        • 18 January 07:26, by Tutbol

          The govt has a hand in this disaster our country is going through. The fools in the govt have relied on the UN when they they knew the game behind the UN & now our people paying dearly for their own lives because of the blunders that was made by those who are now shuttling to save S Sudan from being eaten up by the UN they trusted like their asses in the first place...

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    • 18 January 15:52, by Johndumo14

      It is true Riek Machar is miled by a Nuer spiritual leader named Dak Kueth or (Ngun Deng) to mobilise nur army now to take over the president from Salva kiir,the time has come for him to be president of S.Sudan,the spiritual leader named Dak Kueth killed a cow and cut it in pieces,and raised it to life and walk,and the nuer army believe that is true,that is why all the nuer started to fight inJuba

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    • 18 January 16:05, by Native Boy

      We south sudanese people appreciate your efforts to peace mediaton that ended the 22 yr civl war with Sudan and again doing thesame to this senseless recent conflicts that errupted in Juba due luck of meaningful political idiology and confidence for peaceful diologue in the so called SPLM party.
      Thanks alot for ur concern fro the citizen of south sudan
      LONG LIVE LATE ZENAWI AND LONG LIVE HELLY.

      repondre message

  • 18 January 06:54, by Bentiu son

    Dear Ethiopian Prime Minister the Chairman of IGAD, why you did not condemn or denounce in strong term the direct intervention of Yori Museveni to South Sudan internal politics by siding with genocidal Dinka President Salva Kiir who killed 4000 Nuer civilians due to his rivalry with Dr Machar from Nuer tribe? IGAD mediation won’t bear any fruit if u let M7 play by sending more troops to fight Dr M

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  • 18 January 06:58, by Wicdail

    RSS will never again elect a Dumb personalities like kirr who doesn’t value himself nor value the life of others. With a big black hat which he never took it off on his forehead in public. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!

    repondre message

    • 18 January 07:27, by Majongdit

      His Excellency the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit. You will hear that for quite some time. Then after that, there will be H.E James Wani Igga or H.E Simon Kun, Hoth Mai, Riak Gai, Marial Benjamin.
      Never ever dream of Riek Machar as President of South Sudan.

      repondre message

      • 18 January 08:04, by choldit

        U haven’t learnt yet! Dr. Riek is alrdy a president. Why u think M7 fear of him? U shld knw by now the strategy of m7 is to bread weak East African leaders, the likes of Salva Kirr who hired foreigners to protect his Dinka tribe from their cousins the Nuer tribe. Coward Dinkas BEG who never condemn stealing, nepotism, tribalism and corruption. Shame on u killers. The Nuer will teach u unforgettabl

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