By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
June 21, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – IGAD officials on Friday had discussions with General Taban Deng, the chief negotiator of the SPLM in opposition group over ways how to push forward the peace talks between the two warring SPLM factions in South Sudan.
Sudan Tribune has learnt that the two sides consulted on how to resolve the pending issues within the peace process and on implementing peace agreements signed previously including the formation of interim government.
Some rebel officials in Addis Ababa expressed hope that these pending issues which are being obstacle to move forward the peace talks are addressed as soon as possible.
The fourth session of IGAD-led peace talks opened on Friday.
The SPLM/A rebel faction however did not attend the opening sessions yesterday in what the group said was due to the “genuine and legitimate” demands it put forward to IGAD chair, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn.
The rebels reiterate commitment to a peaceful and political settlement to the conflict which has killed tens of thousands since erupted in Mid December last year.
“The SPLM/SPLA reiterates its commitment to the inclusive and transparent processes with other genuine stakeholders in consultative manner” it said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
The South Sudan Stakeholders Forum for Peace and Reconciliation (SSSFPR), a consortium of political parties, faith-based group and civil society, organizations, has presented a complaint to the IGAD chief envoy, Seyoum Mesfin, for representation and inclusion in the IGAD peace talks.
South Sudan stakeholders recently elected representative to the IGAD peace talks at a multi-stakeholders symposium held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The SPLM in opposition last week however rejected the election arguing the process of nominating representatives has not been transparent and inclusive.
In protest, the group decided to boycott the opening ceremony of IGAD peace talks which was supposed to resume earlier this week.
The group then said some 14 civil society organisations which were selected to attend the in a multi-stakeholders symposium were disregarded and demanded for fair and just inclusion of all stakeholders to the peace process.
The stake holders who have filed in the complaint are from areas in control of rebels while others are based, in Nairobi, Khartoum and Kampala which are exiled due insecurity in Juba.
Rebels said the consortium represents the victims; families of victims, aggrieved communities affected the conflict and stress a need for them to be represented, if genuine and possible reconciliation and healing is to be achieved in South Sudan.