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US demands stoppage of South Sudan military offensive

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April 27, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan admitted on Sunday that the United States had demanded it immediately halt a military offensive against armed opposition groups and accelerate talks to end the ongoing conflict.

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US secretary of state John Kerry (L) meets with South Sudanese president Salva Kiir in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 26 May 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Foreign affairs minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said president Salva Kiir received a telephone call from the US secretary of state John Kerry, who expressed grave concern about ongoing conflict in the country, with calls for both parties to fully respect the cessation of hostilities agreement signed on 23 January.

“Secretary Kerry called the president to welcome the decision of the government to release the four former detainees. He also recognised and appreciated the efforts of the government to end the conflict through peaceful dialogue and asked the both the parties to discourage military offensives and to adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement,” Benjamin told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

The minister said both Kerry and Kiir expressed their support for the IGAD-led peace process, as well as the important role played by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and denounced recent attacks on their bases and personnel.

US state department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Kerry had spoken with Kiir, expressing grave concern about the ongoing conflict in the new nation, including recent violence in Bentiu and Bor, as well as the “deliberate” targeting of civilians by armed groups on both sides of the conflict.

“Secretary Kerry welcomed the Government of South Sudan’s decision to release the four senior political officials who had been in detention since December,” Psaki said in a statement issued on Saturday.

“He urged president Kiir to stop military offensives and to adhere to the cessation of hostilities agreement, and noted US demands that anti-government forces do the same,” it added.

Kerry has also urged Kiir to ensure full and unfettered access throughout South Sudan for UNMISS, the African Union Commission of Inquiry and the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, tasked with overseeing ceasefire arrangements.

The UN said said last month that South Sudanese authorities had restricted its movements, contrary to the status of forces agreement (SOFA) signed by both parties.

In an earlier statement, the world body said it had become difficult to implement its mandate and that a dangerous working environment existed for its staff in the country.

(ST)

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  • 28 April 2014 07:27, by Malou Manyiel

    How shaming it is for our leaders to be told by other leaders in another country of how concern they are about the on going conflict in our own country. Instead of themselves to be concerned because those dying are their own people, it’s others to tell them. Look, South Korean PM accepted responsibility of 300 p’le who died in the sea and resigned when in actual sense not his mistake.

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  • 28 April 2014 07:41, by Wicdail

    This dumb (Kirr) and his circle become so desperate to extend of murdering unarmed Nuers, who were just in a military academic training camp in Mapeil. Let them stop offensive and be faithful in this peace round or they will get shot in the ass sooner than later by our freedom fighters. How do you murders your own armies and civilians?

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    • 28 April 2014 07:55, by Wicdail

      Malou Manyiel,
      This is what we have been tell you guys to let this dumb leader (Kirr) to step down; rather blaming Dr Rick who just fighting for change and justice. Yes the world is laughing at us. Because we have dumb leaders who never accept their failures.

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      • 28 April 2014 15:13, by Malou Manyiel

        Wicdal,
        If Riek become president in South Sudan, that is when I will be a rebel fighting against him. What principles do you think Riek has to become president when he is a murderer of Dinka and his fellow Nuer. Riek has been in the same government for 8 years but he himself didn’t do anything tangible thing to South Sudanese apart from killing them.

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  • 28 April 2014 09:04, by Majongdit

    Senator Kerry,
    Did you also phone Riek Machar?
    He has violated the cessation of hostilities from day 1 it was signed. His rebel group committed a series of serious atrocities across Greater Upper Nile. If you stop short of doing the same that you do to Govt to the rebels then you yourself are the cause for concern. Thank you

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    • 28 April 2014 11:37, by Malakal county Simon

      Since Kiir himself believe in military solution to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, The U.S and the world should seriously put sanctions on Kiir regime in order for him to give peace a chance!!!!

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  • 28 April 2014 15:51, by hamil

    Neither Kirr nor Riek is good for South Sudan, this country needs fresh blood and a Leader with Nationalistic interests not someone who puts his tribe first before the Nation. It is good this rebellion has exposed the high level of tribalism in this country to the entire world we used to talk about it using the mouth but now it is visible to the world.

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  • 28 April 2014 16:00, by hamil

    The leaders are resposible for the hatred among the citizens of this country previously even during the days of Dr John Garang there was total bias i missed a scholarship to go to the United States to study with an option of resettling in 1995 but it emerged that people with marks on their faces were identified as true south sudanesecoz I am an Equatorian from Yei

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  • 28 April 2014 16:09, by hamil

    And when i read some claims but some Dinkas not all of course that Equatorians ran to Uganda and did not fight i want them to get this clearly; My grandfather died in the frontline fighting for the freedom of South Sudan, My brother lost his right leg and and my own father was in the SPLA and never came back till tomorrow I am now 34 years i have not seen him.

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  • 28 April 2014 16:11, by hamil

    And when i read some claims but some Dinkas not all of course that Equatorians ran to Uganda and did not fight i want them to get this clearly; My grandfather died in the frontline fighting for the freedom of South Sudan, My brother lost his right leg and and my own father was in the SPLA and never came back till tomorrow I am now 34 years i have not seen him.

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  • 28 April 2014 16:18, by hamil

    We are all nursing pains created by the conflicts in South Sudan and when i read some stupid claims posted by people who know nothing about this war I am hereby telling them to swallow their stupid pride about the war in South Sudan all tribes lost blood in this war whoever thinks some tribes were hiding should also realise that many Dinka went to the West & Australia to hide

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