Home | News    Friday 31 January 2014

South Sudan rivals urged to prevent nation falling into ‘precipice’

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 30, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) - The African Union summit opened on Thursday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, urging the warring parties in South Sudan to prevent the youngest nation from falling into the abyss.

The continental summit was scheduled to focus on food security and agriculture, however the conflicts in South Sudan and Central African Republic dominated the agenda.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the outgoing Africa Union chairperson, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, said although there was encouraging progress achieved in resolving conflicts in parts of Africa, the emergence of new conflicts is a security concern.

Referring to the situation in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, Desalegn said that Africa and the wider international community needed to find a "urgent solution to rescue these two sisterly countries from falling into the abyss."

Over half a million people have been displaced and thousands killed since the conflict in South Sudan began in mid-December.

Failure prevent the conflicts worsening "will have serious implications for peace and security in the region and indeed the whole continent. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to help these two fragile African states in restoring peace and stability and addressing their internal challenges", Desalegn said.

Despite a fragile ceasefire agreement signed last week in Addis Ababa, South Sudan’s army and rebel forces have continued fighting in breach of peace deal.

The Ethiopian premier said military confrontation will not be a solution to the crises in South Sudan further urging the government of President Salva Kiir and the rebels whoa re led by his former deputy Riek Machar to fully commit themselves to engaging in the second stage of peace talks without preconditions.

He called asked those in positions of influence to demonstrate the necessary political leadership to end the bloodshed.

"Both protagonists should know that the problem cannot be resolved through the barrel of the gun" Desalegn said.

As part of the peace deal, Kiir’s administration freed seven of the 11 political prisoners who are accused of collaborating with Machar to overthrow the government, an allegation strongly denied by all of the accused.

The United States is among those in the international community calling on South Sudan to release the last four detainees. It is hoped that such a move that could remove a major sticking point in negotiations to end the conflict.

However the AU Peace and Security Commissioner, Smail Chergui, said putting the political detainees on trial could hamper peace talks, which are due to resume on February 7.

Chergui said the AU is asking for their release "so they can participate and contribute to the dialogue that will be initiated between all the parties of South Sudan".

AU SPECIAL ENVOY APPOINTED

Addressing the African leaders, Africa Union Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, asked for urgent concerted efforts to silence the guns in South Sudan and CAR, as well as at the continent at large.

"Our hearts go to the people of the Central African Republic and South Sudan who face devastating conflicts in their countries and especially to women and children who’ve become the victims," Dlamini-Zuma said.

"We have to work together to ensure that we build lasting peace," she said further expressing the AU’s concern for women and children who are the prime victims of the conflicts.

To ensure that the voices of women and the vulnerable are heard much more clearly in peace building and in conflict resolution she announced the continental bloc’s appointment of Mrs. Binta Diop, as AU Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security.

Meanwhile, Mauritania’s president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, has taken over the one-year rotating chairmanship of the AU from Ethiopia’s Hailemariam Desalegn.

(ST)

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  • 31 January 2014 06:11, by omoni jr.

    Good job AU, ALL detainees must be freed,Kiir do not understand the word "ALL" Someone have to tell him in Dinka dialect,so that he can get into his thick and empty skull.

    repondre message

    • 31 January 2014 18:49, by Below the Law

      Any community whose members do not correct their members for any wrong doing does not easily civilised instead become most violently pretentious. I am always below the law and more civilised. I blame and correct anybody whosoever for peace and justice in any society I live in. My brothers Nuers must learn how to correct themselves so that peace and civility come to them. Reflect on yourselves.

      repondre message

    • 31 January 2014 21:12, by Johndumo14

      I know most of you nuer guys who live Australia,EU,USA ,south sudan,sudan are supporting Riek Machar,simply because he is your tribemen,this is tribebolism,read the history of Riek when southern sudanese were fighing their common enemy ,Riek Machar stike them at the back,is this a true leader,no,remember now he is a deathman.Museveni and kiir will get him,soon.

      repondre message

  • 31 January 2014 06:12, by Mi diit

    The weak leadership of the so-called African Union at the summit could not strongly condemn the barbaric act of one of its member states, Uganda, for unilaterally and illegally involving militarily in the South Sudan internal conflict to support Kiir’s leadership in killing one tribe, Nuer. Shame on the AU!

    repondre message

    • 31 January 2014 06:17, by Tutbol

      The US is obviously & openly supporting Riek Machar, but the US knows it is supporting a *wrong horse* and if Ethiopia considers supporting Riek Machar, then that would be undoing of Ethiopia’s stability in East Africa & S Sudan would want to get its Gambala region back, besides, Ethiopians would not be always welcome to S Sudan as usual Africans....

      repondre message

      • 31 January 2014 06:20, by Tutbol

        President Kiir & his gangs are bunches of cowards. They continues to let themselves be bullied by the US & every fools in our region. This is an open rebellion against an elected govt & some evils in the West want to imposed their evil on to S Sudanese by force. Ethiopia has been made an elephant in East Africa, but it will shred in to pieces if it tried...

        repondre message

        • 31 January 2014 06:23, by Tutbol

          be acting like a bully to S Sudan. The West is playing cold war against China in S Sudan, by setting up Africans fools against each others, but the US and Nuers will regret this dirty game at the end of it all. The US will in not in anyway get a grip of our resources it is setting up our people against...

          repondre message

          • 31 January 2014 06:27, by Tutbol

            Even if Riek Machar is allowed to take Kiir seat to day and then the whole of Dinka take up arms against Riek Machar govt. the West & Ethiopia will not get anything in S Sudan, in fact Ethiopia will lose very badly. Ethiopia is claiming that S Sudan is failing into Abyss, but Ethiopia will just fall into the same abyss if S Sudan, Kenya, Uganda & Somalia support Ethiopia rebels....

            repondre message

            • 31 January 2014 06:34, by Tutbol

              Ethiopia should instead denounce Riek Machar armed rebellion than to be seen as tacitly supporting it. This bullshit of always taking every S Sudanese internal to Ethiopia has embolden that prostitutes inhabited filth. Should Ethiopia continues not to condemn Riek armed rebellion, then it is time the S Sudanese rounded up the ethiopia...

              repondre message

            • 31 January 2014 06:35, by Tutbol

              Ethiopia should instead denounce Riek Machar armed rebellion than to be seen as tacitly supporting it. This bullshit of always taking every S Sudanese internal to Ethiopia has embolden that prostitutes inhabited filth. Should Ethiopia continues not to condemn Riek armed rebellion, then it is time the S Sudanese rounded up the ethiopia...

              repondre message

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