S. Sudan peace talks adjourned ahead of UNSC members visit

By IAfrica
In Sudan
Aug 12th, 2014
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August 11, 2014 (JUBA) – The ongoing peace talks between South Sudan government and its opposition forces have been adjourned ahead of Tuesday’s visit to the new nation by member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

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UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon briefs the SEcurity Council on his visit to South Sudan in May 2014 to sound the alarm about the violence and the risk of catastrophic famine (Photo: UN//Devra Berkowitz)

“[The] meeting [between government rebels] which is supposed to be tomorrow [Tuesday] has been postponed,” information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth told Eye Radio on Monday.

He said government chief negotiator at the talks was headed to the capital, Juba early Tuesday “to brief the president on the development on the peace talks and our government position.”

“When the delegations from [UN] Security Council arrive in Juba, they should know what is happening”, stressed Lueth.

Talks between the two parties got underway last week, but was temporarily halted after the opposition demanded that negotiations be conducted without other stakeholders.

Mediators from the East African regional bloc (IGAD) eventually headed to opposition demands as bilateral talks resumed Saturday.

SECURITY ALERT

Meanwhile, security has reportedly been intensified head of the visit by members of the UNSC to a country where violence has killed thousands and displaced nearly 1.5 million people since its outbreak late last year.

“We have already directed all units as early as last week to be extra vigilant and conduct checkpoints. We again issued directive for the conduct of checkpoints, bus boarding, ocular inspection of the baggage,” Lt. Col. Kon John Akot, the head of South Sudan Central Equatoria state traffic police, told reporters on Monday.

“We also directed commanders and units to coordinate with the bus operators and possibly come up with security measures like boarding of buses and inspection of the baggage because only the passengers are checked,” he added.

Ellen Margretthe Loj, who was recently appointed as head of the UN mission in South Sudan, will accompany the UNSC delegation.

(ST)

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