Home | News    Thursday 5 March 2015

S. Sudan peace talks hit deadlock as mediators decide on next move

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

March 4, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – The last round of the peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, between the two warring parties in South Sudan has come to a standstill as president Salva Kiir and his rival former vice-president, Riek Machar failed to agree on any of the major outstanding issues.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (L) prior to a meeting on 3 March 2015 in Addis Ababa (Photo: AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)

The East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), gave the two principals 5 March deadline to resolve all the contentious issues and sign a final peace agreement.

However, in the last three days of their direct face-to-face negotiations, Kiir and Machar failed to agree.

A rebel’s spokesman blamed the government for what he said was unnecessary intransigence on all major issues.

“President Salva Kiir is not ready for peace. He flagrantly rejected without explanation all major issues that are fundamental to achieving a lasting peace in the country,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

He explained that contentious major issues that the two leaders could not agree on by Wednesday include federalism, status of forces, transitional security arrangements, wealth-sharing, status of national legislature, national debts, transitional justice and parameters of the permanent constitution making process.

However, Dak further said that the two leaders will on Thursday, 5 March deadline, negotiate on other outstanding issues on governance which they did not discuss on Wednesday.

“The two principals will on Thursday discuss leadership structure, power sharing ratios and institutional reforms,” he said.

The rebel leader’s spokesman said in case of disagreements the two top leaders will submit their report to the IGAD mediators and it would be up to the mediators to decide on the next move.

“The situation would then be left to the IGAD mediation to suggest a way forward. Either to extend the deadline or impose a compromise position or call for any other action,” he said.

Dak however reiterated that the rebel group was committed to a lasting peace, but accused the government of not willing to make a meaningful peace agreement.

G-10 EXCLUDED FROM TALKS

Also the two factional leaders, president Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, leader of the opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), have in their face-to-face talks excluded from the latest process Pagan Amum, the representative of former detainees or G-10.

The move by the two rival leaders comes one day before expiry of IGAD set deadline for South Sudan peace deal, IGAD source told Sudan Tribune.

In the unexpected move and under the very watch of the regional mediators on Tuesday the two leaders agreed to distance the former detainees from participating in the final negotiations which are aimed to strike a comprehensive peace agreement for South Sudan.

The G-10, comprising former cabinet ministers were arrested in Juba after accused of involving in a coup plot allegedly staged by Machar in December 2013, an accusation they together with Machar dismissed as a ploy by Kiir to silence party leaders who were pushing for internal reforms.

Machar fought for their release from the detention and put it as a condition for further peace talks with the government. However, the G-10 group once freed decided not to join Machar in the armed struggle against president Kiir.

However, Machar in a new agreement with Kiir this week according to insider sources, didn’t only refuse the former detainees from participating at the talks but also intended to “betray" them on the power sharing deal as well.

The move would contravene the Arusha intra-SPLM agreement which calls for a proportional representation between the three SPLM factions during the interim period.
However, Machar’s spokesman Dak refuted the allegation, explaining that the move came as the factional negotiating committees finally referred all disagreements to the two principals for direct negotiations.
He said the G-10 participated in the initial negotiations and presented their position papers until the matter was now taken up by the two leaders, Kiir and Machar, to try to resolve the sticking points before the deadline.
“Nobody denied their power-sharing ratio in future transitional government of national unity,” he said.
Members of former detainees were not available later on Wednesday for comments.

UN SACTIONS LOOMING

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution which would allow to impose sanctions on the South Sudanese warring parties such as travel ban and asset freeze.

As the 5 March deadline set for the conclusion of the South Sudan negotiations approaches, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, has strongly urged the two principals to sign a peace agreement or respect the 23 January 2014 signed cessation of hostilities agreement in order to avoid actual imposition of the sanctions.

“President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar to show leadership, put the well being of South Sudanese ahead of all other interests, and make the necessary compromises to conclude a power sharing agreement that paves the way for a comprehensive settlement of the conflict in South Sudan,” the Wednesday statement partly reads.

He reminded both parties that “the best way to avoid the enactment of actual sanctions by the Security Council, is to strictly adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement of 23 January 2014, fully comply with International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, extend their full cooperation to United Nations and humanitarian personnel in the discharge of their mandates and duties, and conclude a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that places South Sudan back on the path to stability and prosperity,” it further reads.

The US drafted resolution however doesn’t name the two rival leaders as targets but indirectly states “leaders and entity."

Although other UN diplomats oppose the sanctions, US Ambassador, Samantha power however favours the resolution.

“Those who frustrate peace must begin to pay the price," said Power.

As Thursday is the deadline set by IGAD for signing of a final peace deal for South Sudan, it remains unclear the course of action the regional mediators will take to ensure lasting peace and end the 15-month long war.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 5 March 2015 07:48, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear All:
    Salva will never accept a peace unless Ugandan Army withdrawal in the country this will be the best choice for the citizen of South Sudan, Machar he need peace because he knew that war its not good for the future South Sudanese as whole while Kiir care only for his tribe specially his clan and the BIG BOTTLE OF RED LEVEL ON THE TABLE.

    Son of Ngundeng
    currently in front line
    Pthy.JS

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  • 5 March 2015 09:43, by Thondet Manyang

    People were crying all along that peace prevails in South Sudan but rebels keep on demanding impossibles, now it as come the real time has come. United States Security Council faked as UNSC has also added its Salt. Therefore, Rwanda and Somalia would be better soonest since those who declare war will now get prepapre for it. No Peace but death this remaining period. Shame on Riek!!!

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  • 5 March 2015 11:02, by hamil

    Just hit them with the sanctions, these illiterate leaders are buying time and suffocationg all efforts to achieve peace in South Sudan the more leniency you show them the more big headed they become. They take things for granted now but when the day comes for them to go to their graves they will seek repentance from God

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  • 5 March 2015 11:10, by hamil

    Most people are not thinking beyond what they percieve. But the truth is South Sudan is being punished by God for all the wrong doings against innocent and defencesless people. E.g the forceful land grabbings in greater Equatoria, the killing of Equatorians at night without cause, mistreatment, corruption, immorality, hatred, tribalism, injustice and name it.

    repondre message

  • 5 March 2015 11:17, by hamil

    There are curses looming in the air when you grab somebody’s property by force because you have a gun, you will one day learn that the power of the tongue will exceed that of the gun even it doesn’t hit immediately. During the civil war all South Sudanese were pouring their hearts to God to give them peace He granted that wish and now you spit back at His face by serving the devil

    repondre message

  • 5 March 2015 11:23, by hamil

    Peace will not come from IGAD, or from Salva and Riek peace is within our hearts if these greedy self centered people who think they will live for enternity don’t change their mentality and brutality God will punish us until He choses the right person to lead this Country. We are facing God’s wrath and it will get worse if you stick to your worthless tribal pride that has dismantled this Country

    repondre message

  • 5 March 2015 11:37, by hamil

    The problem with us in this Country is we are narrow minded, proud for nothing, brutal, senseless, hateful, ignorant, uneducated, tribalic, lack reasoning. We have a common mentality of "I am a tough guy, never mess with me" by behaving this way we are actually showing the world how small minded people we are. We dont know how to humble ourselves we will just die like poor dogs coz we hate change

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    • 5 March 2015 12:22, by Mayom County Boy

      sanction is not the best solution that may solve our problem as we south Sudanese.
      UN may not tricks to pose sanction from both sides
      this is totally a wrong decision from US government
      I does not i agree with those who welcome the sanction

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      • 5 March 2015 14:27, by Joseph Canada

        Sanctions are the best solution to this case specially the Govt. People have to learn the hard way. The simple solution that would have been done is being dragged by those stilling the people of South Sudan under their corrupt employer. This case can’t be solved without knowing how it started. The truth might hurt but for for lasting peace to come, we must stand by the truth. Cont….

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        • 5 March 2015 14:33, by Joseph Canada

          Without knowing the truth, the only peace that can come out of it will be fake and it will trigger another unrest because we are making peace without knowing what happened and what what we learned from that. Also one way of looking at it is only to have the two leaders removed, or the SPLM party to retire from leading the nation for the sake of the nation. To Continue…..

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          • 5 March 2015 14:51, by Joseph Canada

            In short, South Sudanese can either or
            1. Remove the foreign Forces in the our Country.
            2. Remove the two leaders out of power and dissolve the whole Government and bring all new faces to parliament.
            3. Retire All un educated Generals (unless the are willing to go back to school)
            4. Elect the President from the very small minority tribe with qualifications
            5. Let the World body to decide.

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            • 5 March 2015 16:33, by American Missile.

              Riek Machar must be a ceremonial-prime Minister so that we can have a durable solution and lasting peace.

              James Wanni Igga must remained in his position as 1st vice-president. If IGAD will not consider opinions of people of South Sudan.
              We need Peace and respected Elected Government.

              repondre message

  • 5 March 2015 14:36, by Thondet Manyang

    Those who want war it has come to effect.These houses, land, money vehicles, office will remain soonest. We have been praying for peace all along but now in vian. However, those who want to eliminate or extinct certain tribe, US, UN and UK prepare the way for you for death and they will continue ejoying after this mess.So, we accept the war! We are tired of nonsenses!is ICC and HRW ready to record

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  • 5 March 2015 15:57, by Kim Deng

    It doesn’t a matter if Dr. Riek is going to be reisntated back to the position he held before, or no position at all as long as he commands his own separate army during the interim period (30 months).

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  • 5 March 2015 16:57, by American Missile.

    If Riek is going to be imposed on People of South Sudan by IGAD as a 1st Vice-President.I don’t think the Peace will lasted in the Country, there is no appeasement policy where a Rebels kill People and appeased with the Powers.

    Peace must be acceptable to all of us not politicians alone.

    repondre message

  • 5 March 2015 17:51, by marie

    Thank you brother Hamil, I concur with you. South Sudan does not belong to Salva Kiir or Riak Machar. Sanction should be imposed on them for peace to come to the suffering people.
    2 Chronicles 7:14 is what our people need to do, especially if we claim to be followers of Christ, otherwise, we are just fake Christians but actually sons of the devil.

    repondre message

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