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S. Sudan says IGAD allowed bilateral negotiations with rebels

August 10, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government delegation said mediators had agreed that bilateral negotiations take place between two warring parties, a move which saw the opposition, who threatened to stall the talks, rescind their decision.

IGAD mediators and South Sudan negotiating teams at the sigining of the ceasefire agreement in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 23 January 2014 (Photo: IGAD/CEWARN)

South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei, said presentations on the agenda and format for the second round of negotiation were also agreed upon.

“Presentations on governance and the transitional arrangements were made during the plenary session on Friday with the participation of all the stakeholders. The format of the negotiation is that all the presentations will be made to all the stakeholders and then the government and the SPLM/A in Opposition will fall back to direct negotiation,” Makuei told the state-owned SSTV.

“And what the parties agreed upon will be shared with the other stakeholders,” he added.

South Sudanese political parties have objected to a proposal seeking to limit ongoing peace talks between the country’s two conflicting parties, accusing the warring sides of adopting a divisive approach to resolving the conflict.

Lam Akol, the leader of all South Sudanese opposition parties, said the latest round of talks in the Ethiopian capital, was convened with the full understanding that all parties have agreed on a multi-stakeholder roundtable peace talks as the format to bring about just and sustainable peace to the war in the country.

“Little did the South Sudanese know that the warring parties were up again at their delaying tactics while our people continue to die daily as a result of the war they have imposed on the South Sudanese for nothing other than fighting over power,” Akol said in a statement obtained by Sudan Tribune.

Akol insisted that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition delegation demanded that negotiations with their government counterparts take place without direct participation of other stakeholders.

He further accused the rival warring parties of adopting divisive approach to resolving the conflict he said was imposed on the people and the country over power struggle within the ruling party.

(ST)