Home | News    Thursday 7 August 2014

IGAD leaders prepare to take action against S. Sudan rivals

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

August 6, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – Leaders from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are due to meet soon in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to decide on what specific measures should be taken against South Sudan’s rival factions.

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Negotiators at South Sudan peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, review a draft cessation of hostilities agreement on 13 January 2014 (Photo courtesy of Larco Lomayat)

IGAD leaders held a consultative meeting with US secretary of state John Kerry in Washington on Tuesday to discuss the current situation in South Sudan.

The meeting, which was held on the side lines of the US-African leaders’ summit in Washington, was attended by the presidents of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda.

IGAD, the regional bloc mediating the two warring parties, has given both factions a 10 August deadline to agree on a transitional government and implement ceasefire agreements.

The South Sudanese government and rebel forces loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar have been engaged in an armed struggle since mid-December last year when a political split in the ruling SPLM turned violent.

The fifth round of peace talks got underway in Addis Ababa on Monday in a bid to end the almost eight-month-long conflict in the world’s youngest nation.

However, Machar’s SPLM in Opposition failed to show up at the talks, instead demanding direct negotiations with the government.

The rebel faction has called for peace talks to be restricted to the two parties directly involved, saying other stakeholders, including former political detainees, civil society organisations and faith-based groups should only participate in a consultative manner.

During the meeting with Kerry, IGAD chairperson and Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that there was unanimous agreement among regional mediators that the war in South Sudan “must end and must end now”.

He further warned the region would take strong and punitive action immediately after convening the next meeting of IGAD heads of state and government, due to be held in Addis Ababa soon.

Desalegn has accused rebel forces of violating the ceasefire agreement signed by both sides in January and recommitted to in May.

At the opening of talks on Monday, the head of South Sudan’s government delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, also accused rebels of launching fresh attacks.

“Riek Machar and the SPLM/A in Opposition should not waste any more time over military campaigns,” said Nhial.

He called upon the IGAD to take punitive measures against the side which violates the cessation of hostilities agreement.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Kerry said the United States was fully supportive of the IGAD-led proposal aimed at ending the crisis.

He also pledged his government’s strong commitment to averting further human suffering, saying “the threat of starvation for 50,000 children, the continued threat to life, the tribal series of attacks on both sides, were all simply unacceptable”.

Kerry said United Nations Security Council (UNSC) would send a delegation to South Sudan next week to “underline that there is no other alternative than the IGAD plan that is now on the table”.

He also lauded IGAD’s initiative to find an African solution to the political crisis in South Sudan.

Since the conflict in South Sudan erupted in December last year, tens of thousands of people have been killed, while more than 1.5 million people have been displaced from their homes.

International aid organisations have described the humanitarian situation in South Sudan as one of the worst on a global scale, warning of an imminent outbreak of famine if fighting continues.

(ST)

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  • 7 August 07:42, by Martin

    This war is aimless because they were same people running the same government accusing themselves that the government is not doing enough. Riek was vice president, Taban Deng Gai and Chol Tong were state Governors, Pagan Amum was SPLM Party Secretary General, and all the rest in group seven in Nairobi and within rank of rebel were national ministers and ambassadors. They are all cluster of thieves

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    • 7 August 08:37, by Mi diit

      Well, rumors have it that the "opportunists and selfish" so-called g-10 of Pagan Amum want to make a "true" military coup with Kuol Manyang Juuk and others. But they smartly want to take the interim leadership without Salva and Riek so that they easily facilitate the coup. This will happen soon with or without them in the interim leadership. Watch out!!!

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      • 7 August 08:43, by Mi diit

        Of course the government should come to its senses and understand that peace talks are different from conferences. Too many groups and tongues will spoil it. There is a saying that "too many cooks spoil the dish."

        IGAD should not allow US John Kerry to spoil the talks. Kerry failed US elections because of his lazy thoughts. Be realistic please!

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      • 7 August 09:16, by Mr Point

        What is the evidence for this?

        What sources are there for this comment?

        Or is it just something made up by a kid in Kenya with an iPad?

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        • 7 August 09:21, by Sir King

          Midit,
          You are right, may be Mr. Point was a child playing with an Iphone in Kenya. Hahahahahaaaaaaa

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          • 7 August 13:59, by Mi diit

            Mr Point,

            I thought you guys are in South Sudan, not in Kenya. The g-10 is roaming between Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda planning to make a coup with the cooperation of some officials now with Kiir.

            I heard it here in Washington DC from Kiir’s advance team.

            Please understand that Kiir started the war and g-10 has the right to make coup against him.

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      • 8 August 06:41, by michael coma

        Mi diit

        This round rebels should be blame for talk failed.Taban Deng Gai have problem with Dr.Machar that why you see Dr.Dhieu Mathok leading delegation from Riek’s side.Just pray for movement of SPLA-IO callapsing.

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    • 7 August 09:19, by Mr Point

      This war was started by Salva Kiir.

      The Juba Massacres of December 2013 directly caused the Nuer generals to rebel. Riek joined them after surviving the assassination attempt.

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    • 7 August 17:46, by Justin Chicago opiny

      RRR,S which stands for Reuse,reduce and recycle should not be used in South Sudan if peace is to be attained permanently.All the stakeholders in the negotiations are former SPLA/M cadres and fighting physical war and war of words among themselves putting the civilian population to suffer innocently with both the rebels and government using their tribes men to fight for their own gain in the war.

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  • 7 August 07:46, by Chol A.

    Those rebels in negotiation table in Ethiopia are different from other rebels group fighting in Nasir, Ayod and Beantiu and neither of them is not in Addis peace talk. If Riek’s commanded all of his Nuer general why are they keep attacking Spla? I believe rebels does not know what they fighting for because they demanded all stakeholders plus G.11 to participates and now they pull back why?

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    • 7 August 07:58, by Sir King

      Oh! My God, I wish to be military take over soon and dismiss Sluggish President Kiir and Dr. Greedy Riek Machar. Both must go they are just killing South Sudanese.

      Please nobody is better betwen these two dogs. We want them go. God help IGAD to chase them out of our country, South Sudan.

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  • 7 August 07:55, by Martin

    This rebellion has to be defeated politically and militarily. It is a waste of time, energy and resources to negotiate with a fool. IGAD has a power to end this war immediately; whether for the rebel to accept peace or defeat them by bullet. They cannot and will never change the government through the battle, rather than putting the innocent children and women under the severe suffering.

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    • 7 August 08:01, by Martin

      Riek is the serial killer of South Sudanese and IGAD must do what the law can do to a serial killer(look back to history); he enjoys when people are dying in large number.

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  • 7 August 08:09, by Dengic

    Riek won’t negotiate in good faith as long as he stays in comfortable hotels in Addis.Eviction from Addis and imposition of comprehensive sanction will be better options.What’s wrong with multi-stakeholder peace talks if the rebels really have an agenda to discuss with the Govt?

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    • 7 August 08:21, by Sir King

      Not Riek alone but Kiir is also included. Kiir can not negotiate in good faith. This parliament should be disolve so that according to Rebels’ presentation but Kiir finds it dangerous because the current parliament is full of food lovers, yes people to sluggish leader Kiir Kuethpiny Mayardit.

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      • 7 August 08:24, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

        Mi Tot/Gat Matot,
        De so-called Sudd Institute/local think tank is not mindful of historical facts. Why don’t you revisit de history of 1991 and Bor massacre orchestrated by Dr Hopeless Riek who imitates renowned PhD holders like Dr John Garang de Mabior? Why did Nasir Faction fail to negotiate peace with Khartoum and bring about CPA of 2005?

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        • 7 August 08:25, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

          If the very SPLM/A headed by Dr John Garang were to surrender to Khartoum in 1991 n signed Khartoum Oil Agreement, KOA of 1997 as Dr Hopeless Riek did before returning to Dr Jogn Garand in 2002, in which country would we be talking as first class citizens today dat Riek is now struggling to hijack SPLM/A who he abandoned but still liberated him in broad day light?

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          • 7 August 08:25, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

            The real issue of South Sudan is not political or democratic reforms dat Dr Hopeless Riek is trying to impose upon South Sudanese on de basis of federalism, but lack of nationalism, repeated betrayal n use of violence to achieve political/military power to lead regardless of record n constant knocks on Khartoum’s door for food n logistical support. Krtum simply wants to keep RSS destabilized.

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            • 7 August 08:26, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

              President Salva Kiir Mayardit is democratically elected; he never returned from Khartoum in 2002 to be forgiven and/or later appointed Vice President in 2005 like Dr. Hopeless Riek who believes dat he has PhD n has every right to rule at any cost if what he describes as “his turn” is denied. Is de right of Dr Hopeless Riek recognizable only in South Sudan but not in Khartoum/KOA-1997?

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              • 7 August 08:27, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

                Why the so-called illiterate “white army” was not mobilized against Jayliin in Shendi when Omer Hassan Al-Bashir disposed of KOA-1997 shortly after inking it? Why does Dr Hopeless believe dat it’s harder to use force/violence against SAF to achieve power in Khartoum than using it against SPLA to rule South Sudan? Is it bcoz Sudan is largely desert and has no jungle for conducting his rebellion?

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                • 7 August 08:28, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

                  South Sudan has enough jungle to hide. The forces of Dr Hopeless Riek can easily locate where SPLA forces are but their commanders often fail to win battles, leave alone war, and resort to taking refuge to air-conditioned Hotels in Addis overlooking the venue of peace talks and wait later to join Government delegation from Juba only to keep changing their position, demands and setting precondition

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                  • 7 August 08:29, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

                    Who is Dr Hopeless Riek fooling in de ongoing peace talks, government delegation, IGAD or international community dat he still has de gut to get everything done his way? No way. That’s why I said before dat “Let’s go to Addis to have some fun and watch the patronizing smile and presidential look of Dr Hopeless Riek Machar Teny, the usual leader of tribally-oriented rebellion”.

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                    • 7 August 08:30, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

                      We r waiting for those coming from the Diaspora to join his rebellion in de front lines so dat we have a good dance until the followers of Dr Hopeless give up and come to their senses to be forgiven for de sake of peace. Otherwise, we r ready for a protracted war. There r many peaceful Nuer PhD holders who can run and democratically get elected to lead the country, but not Dr Hopeless Riek.

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  • 7 August 15:14, by Thondet Manyang

    Mi Diit or Mi Tot!
    Stop criticizing IGAD and blaming Kery since it is your normal practice when in government and now rebel, Do you people really know why you rebelled? I am always shocked when hearing your views and demands which freqeuntly base on the situation. Where you the ones looking for more participant in first round of talk? Then what happen now. Do you people need for those poor in camp

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