June 16, 2014 (JUBA) - The second round of South Sudan’s peace talks between the government and the opposition, initially scheduled for Monday in the Ethiopian capital, has been postponed after the warring parties raised separate demands, an official disclosed.
- Negotiators at South Sudan peace talks in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa review a draft cessation of hostilities agreement on 13 January 2014 (Photo courtesy of Larco Lomayat)
“We have written to the Ethiopian prime minister, who is the chairperson of the IGAD to inform [him] of our concern over this unbecoming and unacceptable use of insulting comments", South Sudan’s government spokesperson, Michael Makuei said.
"If President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar are stupid, it means the people of South Sudan are [also] stupid, which is an unacceptable description”, he added.
Makuei said South Sudanese government delegation needed an explanation from the IGAD on the matter.
Last month, the first round of talks saw both president Kiir and rebel leader Machar sign an agreement, which shed a greener light on possibly ending nearly six-months of conflict on the country.
Meanwhile, rebel sources have urged the mediation team to extend invitation to civil society members in areas under their control or those who fled to the neigbouring countries for peace talks.
CIVIL SOCIETY INCLUSION
Puoch Riek Deng, the public relations officer within the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SSRRA) in Addis Ababa earlier said that majority of those elected were civil society members coming from the government-controlled areas.
These people, he claimed, nominated themselves and represented views of the Juba regime.
“We have rejected the civil society nomination processes. It was flawed, incredible, and unfair and politically motivated”, Deng told Sudan Tribune last week.
He said his group had already protested to IGAD’s special envoy, General Lazarus Sumbeiywo over the matter.
Deng also accused the IGAD-instituted African Union Commission of Inquiry into South Sudan crimes of allegedly only visiting areas under government control to meet civil society members while largely ignoring those in rebel-controlled areas.
“These are the victims and family of the victims killed in juba. They must be consulted. They must be listened to and heard”, he said adding that “Their participation to the peace process is important and must be taken into considerations”.
The group urged the East African regional bloc to make this process inclusive, representative and diverse to represent all section of South Sudanese communities.
Last week, government, civil societies, political parties, religious groups and the former political detainees nominated their representative to the talks mediated (IGAD). The three-day symposium brought together some 150 participants representing government, SPLM-in-opposition, political parties, faith based groups, civil societies and traditional leaders.