News / Africa

Mediators Hope South Sudan Sides Sign Ceasefire Agreement

South Sudan peace negotiators meet in a night club in Addis Ababa on Jan. 13, 2014.
South Sudan peace negotiators meet in a night club in Addis Ababa on Jan. 13, 2014.
Peter Clottey
Mediators are encouraging representatives of South Sudan’s warring factions to sign a ceasefire agreement before this weekend to end weeks of deadly clashes in Africa’s newest nation, according to Dina Mufti, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry spokesman.

Mufti says the mediators will, however, continue with the peace negotiations if the two groups fail to sign a ceasefire agreement to stabilize the security situation and bring some relief to the tens of thousands of citizens and other foreign nationals displaced due to the conflict.

He says there appears to be a stalemate at the peace talks that is preventing the signing of an agreement after mediators failed to persuade both President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar to agree to an immediate ceasefire to end the violence.

President Kiir and Machar differed sharply on the release of detainees accused of plotting to overthrow the government in Juba.

Mufti says following consultations with the two leaders, President Kiir insisted that the detained officials should face a legal process, while Machar demands their release before signing any ceasefire agreement.

“Because of this the mediation is going but [difficult],” said Mufti. “But the chief mediator says that these preconditions some sort of delay so they are pressing on both sides to sign a ceasefire. The mediator says he will perhaps secure a ceasefire agreement within two days.”

Mufti says the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is implementing measures to expedite the peace negotiations and help resolve the conflict.

“IGAD is planning to secure a ceasefire within a few days perhaps within two or three days. If they don’t secure that the ceasefire they [will] settle for continuing the dialogue. Because the two delegations are here they are engaged and the mediators are also engaged and there is pressure coming from the international community, the United States and everybody [to end the conflict].”

Mufti says there seems to be a correlation between the military successes of the two warring factions in the ongoing conflict and how the dialogue progresses in neighboring Ethiopia.

But, some observers say both sides of South Sudan’s conflict are to blame for the grave humanitarian situation. Thousands have been killed, tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes, and some South Sudanese citizens are trapped in neighboring Central African Republic (CAR), where that interim government in Bangui is also facing security challenges.

Mufti says both sides have expressed concern about the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, but have yet to agree to a ceasefire to end the conflict.

He says mediators and the rest of the international community including the African Union, The United Nations, IGAD and the country’s international partners, have urged the two groups to use the humanitarian situation as an incentive to sign a ceasefire agreement.

“It is true that there is grave humanitarian [situation], there is destruction of cities, the people are suffering and the situation is not auguring well for the people of South Sudan,” said Mufti. “There are these obstacles; the obstacle of the opposition putting preconditions of the release of the detainees, and the government also insisting that these are coup makers and the coup makers should be prosecuted.”
Clottey interview with Dina Mufti, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry spokesman
Clottey interview with Dina Mufti, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry spokesmani
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs