S. Sudan government, rebels to resume talks next week

By IAfrica
In Sudan
Jul 24th, 2014
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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

July 24, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – Despite fresh fighting over control of key town of Nasir, South Sudan government and rebels led by former vice-president Riek Machar, will resume peace talks next week, a regional bloc disclosed on Thursday.

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Face-to-face talks between the South Sudanese government and rebels in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, resumed on 13 January 2014, with a secured a ceasefire agreement signed later that month (Photo: AFP/Carl De Souza)

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediating the two warring SPLM factions said the fourth round of negotiations between the two sides aimed to end over seven month old conflict will resume on July 30 in the Ethiopia capital, Addis Ababa.

“All the stakeholders have reiterated their commitment to the negotiation process, which is tentatively scheduled to commence on 30th July, 2014 to 10th August 2014” IGAD said in a statement.

IGAD decision to recommence the talks comes after special envoys of the regional bloc engaged in extensive consultations with various actors and stakeholders of the South Sudan peace Process.

The consultations aimed to find a way forward to the talks stalled last month particularly to consult on ways of implementing the resolutions passed during IGAD meeting on10th June.

During the summit both president Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar committed to form a transitional government through an all inclusive peace process.

However both sides failed to cease fire and continued to engage in fresh fighting with both sides trading accusations of violating to terms of the truce.

“The agenda of the next session will be to finalise and sign the Cessation of Hostilities Matrix and negotiation on details of the Transitional Government of National Unity,” the mediation said.

Following the latest fighting, International aid organisations are warning of a growing famine risk which could affect over a million of people displaced by the conflict.

“The essence of stopping the war is to create a conducive environment for negotiations, and to facilitate humanitarian operations to reach the needy populations and pre-empt the looming famine in South Sudan that is likely to affect millions of the displaced populations,” IGAD said.

The slow moving IGAD led peace process has failed to bring a fruitful outcome to end the crises except for a cease fire agreement signed in January which couldn’t stop the fighting on ground.

A round of peace talks that was supposed to resume late in June was adjourned after rebel delegation boycotted the talks in protest to alleged IGAD’s failure to travel stakeholders based outside South Sudan to the venue of the talks.

In recent interview with Sudan Tribune, rebel leader, Riek Machar, voiced concerns over the ways IGAD was handling the peace negotiations, including the plans of deploying regional force in South Sudan and the participations of stakeholders.

Machar then accused the regional bloc of making decisions on behalf of the two warring parties.

“The warring parties should make the decisions. The driving force should not be the IGAD. IGAD should be the moderator. They bring us together since we are willing to come together under the auspices of IGAD, the parties should drive the process,” Machar said.

Political analysts believe that the formation of a transitional government within 60 days as agreed in June is unlikely.

The transitional government of national unity whose terms yet to be negotiated through the next round of IGAD-led peace talks is tasked to oversee government functions during a transitional period, implement critical reforms as negotiated through the peace process, oversee a permanent constitutional process and guide the country to new elections, according to IGAD.

(ST)

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