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South Sudan political forum demands speedy peace process

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June 17, 2014 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese political parties leadership forum has urged delegates involved in the ongoing peace talks to “stop the war and political bickering and return to negotiation table.”

Speaking at a news conference held in the capital, Juba, politicians representing 20 political parties, including the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), demanded that the 60-day ultimatum president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar agreed on be met.

“We the undersigned political parties commit ourselves to continue to urge the two warring to stop the war and political bickering to immediately return to the negotiation table,” said Ceasar Taban, a United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF) representative.

“The IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) mediation (team should) exert efforts on the two warring parties so that direct (peace) talks begin as soon as possible to meet the 60 days dateline,” he added.

Talks between the two warring parties mediated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) failed to get underway on Monday in Ethiopia after South Sudan government accused one of the mediators of allegedly using an "inappropriate" statements against its leaders.

Government delegates said they were protesting over comments attributed to IGAD’s executive secretary, Mahboub Maalim who reportedly described president Kiir and Machar as “stupid” for thinking that they would win the war in the battle field rather than negotiating peace.

The SPLM-in-Opposition spokesperson, Hussein Mar Nyuot told Sudan Tribune that the civil society representation at the talks were not inclusive and they had decided to boycott the process.

He however said they would make a decision to return to the Addis Ababa talks once their demands were met.

(ST)

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