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Former South Sudan detainees say adjournment of peace talks “unpatriotic”

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June 24, 2014 (JUBA) – A group of former South Sudanese political detainees have protested against the adjournment of peace talks, describing the decision as unpatriotic.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a peace deal in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 9 May 2014 aimed at resolving conflict in the country peacefully (Photo: Reuters)

In a release extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday the former detainees – all of whom were senior members of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – accused the rival parties to the country’s armed conflict of exhibiting a lack of seriousness.

They said the government’s decision to join a boycott of the peace talks on the grounds that they could not continue the talks without the participation of the main rival faction was illogical.

The decision dashes hopes for peace in the fractured country and condemns South Sudanese people to ongoing suffering, the group said.

“The lack of seriousness in the face of the immense suffering facing their people as a result of the ongoing conflict will result in increased suffering, feelings of hopelessness and total despair,” the group said in the statement.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the East African regional bloc mediating negotiations, announced in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Monday that talks would be indefinitely adjourned to allow for further consultations.

Talks opened prematurely on Friday without the participation of the rebel faction led by former vice-president Riek Machar, who boycotted the talks, claiming the selection process for other stakeholders, including civil society organisations and faith-based groups, was unfair and lacked transparency.

The former detainees said they had been extremely disheartened by the position taken by the two rival parties.

“The fact that they would choose to ignore the yearning of our people for peace and abuse the good will and desire of the region and the international community to take their country out of the conflict and suffering is deplorable and unpatriotic,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the rebel SPLM in Opposition has criticised IGAD’s decision to adjourn talks, saying direct talks between the two parties could have continued while the matters around the stakeholder selection process were addressed.

Conflict has raged in South Sudan since mid-December last year amid escalating political tensions within the ruling SPLM.

The former senior SPLM officials were detained in connection to an alleged coup plot to overthrow the government, which the government claimed sparked the violence.

Seven detainees were subsequently released and travelled to Kenya to take part in the stalled peace process, while the remaining four were later freed in April after the government dropped treason charges against them.

The violence has pitted government troops loyal to president Kiir against rebel forces aligned with Machar, comprising largely of dissident soldiers and ethnic militia.

Peace talks have been marred by slow progress and ongoing setbacks, with a ceasefire agreement signed between the rival sides failing to halt violence on the ground.

(ST)

- South Sudanese peace talks adjourned over inclusivity crisis

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  • 25 June 2014 08:15, by WendeMajok

    By the way, these two leaders (Kiir & Riek) need to be locked-up in Addis because they are playing with people’s lives. They are backed up by their relatives and maybe their States’ politicians but not the whole nation. In short, they are pain in the ass, the quicker they get eliminated, the better.

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    • 25 June 2014 08:30, by John The President

      No enemy no friend that is politics, here is what I want Kiir and Machar to do to save the lives of our people. instead of bringing in new person to take charge of this difficult situation, I prefer the two agree separately with out being pressured and soon on how to run the interim gov’t. they both should head the gov’t instead of allowing good guys to take advantage of the situation,....

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      • 25 June 2014 08:34, by John The President

        ..This will help restore hope among our communities and fasten the reconciliation. what I know is that if a new person take over, their reconciliation mechanism would not yield any positive outcome, the can not go to communities and apologies on behalf of Riek and Kiir hence the anger will continue to grow among the communities, the main actors to repent and apologize for their barbaric acts.

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        • 25 June 2014 08:51, by Mi diit

          The so-called former detainees or third bloc or whatever do not have people on the ground to negotiate on their behalf. They are a bunch of opportunists who do not care about the death of tens of thousands. Their only interest is to demonize the two leaders (Kiir ad Riek) and hope that they will steal leadership of interim government. Kenyan MPs perfectly described them as “selfish.”

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          • 25 June 2014 09:16, by Good South in Ruin!

            Dear Mi Diit,

            I can see that you know almost nothing about what you are commenting on here.
            The G-11 are innocent victims of a political blackmail by the 2 you are talking about.

            They are already coming out clean in the wash as NOT any of them has blood in their hands of the lives being lost in South Sudan since December 2013.

            Get it right here or be blind unremittingly!

            repondre message

        • 25 June 2014 09:00, by Malakal county Simon

          The so called Former Detainees with their leader Amum, need to know that they are third party in the peace talk, which means the Rebels and the illegitimate government are the only main groups for the peace talk to continues. So without either one of them participating in the table, means there is no point of peace talk to continues.....

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          • 25 June 2014 09:23, by Good South in Ruin!

            Malakal Son,
            Yes they are third party but can you pay attention to what they say?

            They are third party because they have not accepted to join the killing on either sides. Honestly, these guys are talking lives NOT the greedy struggle for power.

            The stakes here are the lives of innocent population suffering. G.11 in their moves want no more deaths!
            I am only for who talks PEACE!

            repondre message

            • 25 June 2014 10:16, by Mapuor

              The third group are even worse than the rebels, for they were the ones who gave Dr Riek encouragement to wage coup against our charismatic leader president Kiir Mayardit.We have to reward president Kiir for his wisdom by allowing him to rule South Sudan for life. He is no different from Robert Mugabe who liberated Zimbabweans from white rule.Kiir liberated South Sudan from Arab hegemony.

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  • 25 June 2014 10:08, by Obach Othou

    @Good South in Ruin, thank you so much for the response. Our people are being blackmailed by this two leaders Kiir and Riek. They blamed those who have not committed any atrocities and leave the monsters to be their hero’s, if killing of innocent lives of people’s becoming something good for you people then they should tell us to do so.G-11 are innocent.

    repondre message

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