February 7, 2014

S. Sudan Political Parties Want To Be Included In Peace Talks

Members of the delegation opposed to South Sudan's government attend talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to try and broker a ceasefire between South Sudan's President Salva Kiir-led government forces and rebels allied to deposed vice-president, Riak Machar. (AFP/Jacey FORTIN)
Members of the delegation opposed to South Sudan’s government attend talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to try and broker a ceasefire between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir-led government forces and rebels allied to deposed vice-president, Riak Machar. (AFP/Jacey FORTIN)

Up to 18 political parties in South Sudan say they should be included in the next round of talks between the government and the rebel forces loyal to former vice president, Dr Riek Machar.

In their statement dated 6th February when they met current Vice President James Wani Igga in Juba, the parties called upon the government to coordinate with the political parties more closely in all national issues, including the ongoing peace talks in order to enhance trust and confidence building.

Joseph Mabior Malek, the spokesperson of the political parties’ forum, says the political parties and civil society groups have constructive ideas for a peace road-map that would get the country out of the crisis. He said the vision of political parties is to set up a plan to bring an end almost two months of fighting that cost over 1000 lives.  They added that in the next period according to inter-governmental authority on development (IGAD) recommendation, the stakeholders who are going to participate will include political parties, civil society, youth and women.

In their statement, the parties note that there are still a large number of South Sudan nationals in the UN Mission (UNMISS) compounds and are requesting the government to expeditiously seek ways and means to allay their fears so that they may resume their normal lives. The political parties say they will ensure that justice prevails and also ensures that the perpetrators will be brought to book.

Some of the political parties who are asking to be included in the peace process include Labor Party, The Democratic Forum, and Communist Party among others. The political party leaders had met on Wednesday to be briefed by the government delegation to the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The talks are resuming this weekend.

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