April 28, 2014

South Sudan Peace Talks Resume with a Glee of Hope

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)

The third round of negotiations between the South Sudanese government and the rebels are scheduled to resume today in Addis Ababa, with delegations from both sides already in the Ethiopian capital. 

It’s expected that the IGAD sponsored talks will register a “significant improvement” in peace negotiations following the release of political detainees accused of plotting to overthrow President Salva Kiir’s government.

The released detainees include Pagan Amum, former Secretary General of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Majak D’Agot, Oyai Deng Ajak and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

The release of the detainees has been one of the major demands by representatives of the rebels allied to former vice president Riek Machar at the peace negotiations.

The spokesman of the government negotiating team Michael Makuei Lueth confirmed that a government delegation travelled to the Ethiopian capital yesterday for the resumption of the talks, Sudan’s Radio Tamazuj Reports.

Lueth, who is also the Information Minister, noted there was no breakthrough during the last round of talks, particularly on the agenda and the declaration of principles, the report adds.

“On the declaration of principles the SPLM/SPLA had observations on some points, while the government did not agree with the opposition on the agenda, because the government believes that not everything will be resolved in Addis Ababa,” said the minister. “Certainly there are issues that need the participation of political parties, civil society, youths and women such as issues of governance and constitutional making,” he explained.

Makuei revealed that the seven former detainees known as ‘G7’ will not take part in the third round of peace talks, saying that the former political detainees have been excluded from the peace negotiations because they are not a party to the talks.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the SPLM/SPLA-in-Opposition at the peace talks Hussein Mar Nyuot said that his delegation had already arrived in Addis Ababa.

He reiterated their readiness to engage in the peace process at the ongoing talks, saying that they had consultations with their top leadership in regard to the continuation of peace talks with the government.

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