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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs