S. Sudan Peace Talks Delayed

Peace talks among the South Sudanese factions SPLM-Juba, SPLM-IO, SPLM-G10 and other stakeholders are not expected to resume on Thursday as earlier announced by the mediators.

Members of South Sudan rebel delegation attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan’s negotiation in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 4, 2014.
Members of South Sudan rebel delegation attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan’s negotiation in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, January 4, 2014.

Mediators of the East African Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) had announced an adjournment of the talks on 5 October 2014, saying they would resume on 16 October 2014.But an informed source has revealed that the talks will not resume until 20 October at the earliest.

The reason for the 10-day adjournment was to allow time for “consultations” with East African leaders and the heads of South Sudan’s two warring parties.

IGAD Special Envoy Seyoum Mesfin in a statement after the adjournment observed that the latest round of talks represented “a major step forward,” pointing to fresh areas of agreement among the parties, such as the structure of the proposed transitional government.

The IGAD bloc in June set a 60-day deadline for the South Sudanese negotiators to reach a political agreement on the formation of a transitional government or else face the imposition of unspecified “punitive measures.” However, that 60-day deadline passed and was renewed for another 45 days which has also passed.

But IGAD member countries currently remain divided on the issue of sanctions.

United States government has hinted that it may impose financial sanctions on more officials soon.
Donald Booth, the chief envoy of the United States government to South Sudan says, “Both the government and the opposition have failed to engage the process in good faith or to fully honor their commitments.” he added; “the time has come” for more sanctions on members of the opposition or government who are obstructing peace efforts.

Meanwhile, some leading members of the SPLM factions have traveled to Tanzania to participate in a confidence-building initiative organized by Tanzania’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

The visit, the spokesman of the SPLM-In-Opposition James Gatdet Dak said in a statement, came in response to an invitation from CCM. “SPLM delegation led by Comrade Professor Peter Adwok Nyaba is in Tanzania for talks on experience sharing with the Tanzanian ruling party, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM),” Dak said.

“The gathering centers on the necessity for a strong political party in South Sudan. This is about SPLM unification and transition in order to unite the people and usher in development,” he added.

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