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IGAD urged not to confine S. Sudan peace talks to interests of rival leaders

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

August 31, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – A pan-African youth organisation says South Sudan peace talks should focus on the interests of the people rather than those of the country’s warring leaders.

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South Sudan’s rebel leader, Riek Machar (R), and president Salva Kiir (L) join hands in prayer before signing an earlier peace agreement in the Ethiopian capita, Addis Ababa, on 9 May 2014 (photo: Reuters)

Africa Speaks urged the parties to the conflict to prioritise national interests and the aspirations of South Sudanese people ahead of their immediate political ambitions.

“The long fight for freedom, justice, equality, prosperity, development, peace and tranquillity shouldn’t turn [into] chaos, misery and hopelessness,” the group said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

The statement commended ongoing efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is currently mediating negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in bringing all concerned parties to the table for discussions on a sustainable political settlement to the crisis, urging the east African bloc to work towards a long-term solution rather than a short-term fix.

“The peace talks are a prospect for South Sudanese to engage in peace and reconciliation to have a common understanding of nationhood, likewise this is a virtuous platform to have [a] long-lasting peace agreement framework” that would put South Sudan back on the road to peace and development.

The group also stressed that the root causes of the conflict must be addressed if a sustainable and lasting solution is to be found, adding that political strategies and peace efforts aimed at ending the more than eight-month-long conflict must be emblematic of the people’s wishes.

South Sudan’s political crisis has plunged the country into violence, claiming the lives of tens of thousands of people after a political dispute within the country’s ruling party (SPLM) sparked the conflict in mid-December last year.

The fighting has pitted government troops loyal to president Salva Kiir against rebel forces aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar’s breakaway opposition group.

“All involved parties in this peace process have to strain to address the root cause of the problem and they have to embed the explications in to the peace framework agreement by consulting all parties, and especially the agreement should be people-centric,” the statement said.

Founded in April 2009, Africa Speaks, which is a member of ECOSOC United Nations, is a regionally based non-governmental and non-partisan organisation that recognises the need to support sustainable development through research, education and entrepreneurship among youth and disadvantaged women.

Based in the South African city of Pretoria, the group works to promote prosperity, good governance, fair resource distribution, free movement, infrastructure development and intra-trade across the African continent.

It also fights against poverty, corruption, instability, exploitation, oppression, xenophobia and racism.

The South Sudanese government and Machar’s rival SPLM in Opposition faction have signed a number of peace deals since peace negotiations got underway in January.

However, a lack of commitment from both sides to implement the agreements has pushed the young nation into a deep political and humanitarian crisis, which has forced more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

Earlier this week, IGAD issued both parties with a 45-day deadline to negotiate and reach an agreement on the formation of a transitional national government, warning it would take action against any party that fails to comply accordingly.

Meanwhile, talks between the two conflicting parties have been adjourned for three weeks and are due to resume on 13 September.

(ST)

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  • 1 September 2014 13:42, by Bentiu Sudan

    Pan-African youth,

    You truly hit the nail. You are a bright youth with African heart that vision African unity, peace, and prosperity. As you know the East African bloc is full of dictators who are heartless so they do not want to solve the problem. They do not want to give their dictator friend wrong because the president of South Sudan is practicing dictatorship like them, particularly Uganda.

    repondre message

    • 1 September 2014 14:51, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      If it was not for this traitor called Riek Machar, who betrayed the pepole of South Sudan, misguided his poeple and stabbed the liberation struggle in the back, South Sudan would have attained Independence, long time ago during the 1990s. Since Anyanya 1 when Salva Kiir was still a young man, he has been struggling for the cause of the people of South Sudan, not because he wanted to be President.

      repondre message

    • 1 September 2014 14:55, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      Riek Machar is a total failure and good for nothing. He wasted time visiting IGAD countries hoping they would support him, but it was just a waste of time because his record is clear since 1991 that he betrayed the people of South Sudan and has failed politically, militarily and diplomatically. Even the west has turned against him because he is only fighting selfishly for power. What a loser he is

      repondre message

      • 2 September 2014 08:01, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

        Daniel Deng Mongde,

        Do think is there anything good coming from those brains following Dr. Fool Hopeless Riek Massacre whose hand full of blood since 1991? Instead of writing Bentiu South Sudan, he writes Bentiu Sudan because that’s where they get stamped up there when they ask for food and military support as they are doing now. Sudan is training them, arming them simply to keep RSS destabilized

        repondre message

        • 2 September 2014 08:13, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

          Sudan is training them, arming them simply to keep RSS destabilized, knowing fully well dat Dr. Fool Hopeless Riek Massacre will never be the President of South Sudan, leave alone implementation of his KOA-1997. It’s the record, self-analysis, honesty, perseverance, etc. that counts to become President of a country, but not violence, back-stabbing, constant shift of allegiance, u name it.

          repondre message

          • 2 September 2014 08:23, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

            In which political world dat u participate in revolutionary war (1955-1972 & 1983-2005) to achieve your freedom at last and in the process u surrendered to de very enemy of your freedom, justice, peace and prosperity to simply sign bogus agreement, Khartoum Oil Agreement-1997 n refused to wait for its implementation until u returned again in 2002 to the very movement u branded undemocratic?

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            • 2 September 2014 08:34, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

              Is surrendering to Khartoum in 1991 de thinking of a real PhD holder like de late icon Dr. John Garang de Mabior and martyrs whose blood cemented our current freedom? No. It’s de thinking of primary four pupil who pretends to look highly educated without noticing the difference between college degree and educated person. Whenever I see Dr. Hopeless Riek Massacre, I see de image of Demon & Satan.

              repondre message

  • 2 September 2014 09:21, by Daniel Deng Monyde

    As you have unequivocally elucidated, there is completely no doubt that the problem of South Sudan is Riak Machar and his extreme obsession and greed for power that has driven him to become a wild monster and the number one enemy of the people of South Sudan, since 1991 when he became a traitor, tried to kill Dr. John Garang and selfishly worked tirelessly to destroy the liberation struggle

    repondre message

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