News / Africa

Pressure Grows as S. Sudan Peace Talks Resume

FILE - (From L) Chairman of IGAD mediation team Seyoum Mesfin, S. Sudan leader of the opposition's negotiating team Gen Taban Deng and IGAD special Envoy Mohammed Ahmed Mustefa during the opening ceremony of a round of S. Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa, Feb. 11, 2014.
FILE - (From L) Chairman of IGAD mediation team Seyoum Mesfin, S. Sudan leader of the opposition's negotiating team Gen Taban Deng and IGAD special Envoy Mohammed Ahmed Mustefa during the opening ceremony of a round of S. Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa, Feb. 11, 2014.
Marthe van der Wolf
South Sudan’s warring factions resume face-to-face peace talks on Thursday - the third such effort this year. The resumption of negotiations coincides with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's meeting with regional leaders in Addis Ababa, where they agreed on the need for a legitimate force to stabilize South Sudan.  

Pressure is growing on the South Sudan government and the opposition to reach some concrete agreements at this round of talks in Ethiopia.  Since the conflict erupted in mid-December, the parties have only agreed on a cease-fire - which has been largely ignored.
 
Seyoum Mesfin, chairman of the East African bloc IGAD mediation team, says an interim political arrangement is one of the items on the agenda.
 
“Which envisaged that the parties negotiate for an interim or a transitional period and which might lead them to the establishment of a national unity government for the interim period of the time frame for the interim period and the nature of the national unity government, its size and its tasks, during the interim period, this has to be negotiated by the parties,” he said.
 
IGAD says it is not imposing this upon the two negotiating parties, but both sides have accepted to negotiate on this topic.
 
South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei says all outstanding issues will be discussed.
 
“The first point on the agenda… is the strengthening of the Cessation of Hostilities and the commitment and dedication to the implementation and operationalization to the cessation of hostilities,” he said.

 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) participates in a meeting with Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom (2nd R), Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed (3rd R) and Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa (R) in Addis Ababa, May 1.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) participates in a meeting with Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom (2nd R), Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed (3rd R) and Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa (R) in Addis Ababa, May 1.
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) participates in a meeting with Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom (2nd R), Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed (3rd R) and Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa (R) in Addis Ababa, May 1.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) participates in a meeting with Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom (2nd R), Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed (3rd R) and Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa (R) in Addis Ababa, May 1.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his counterparts from Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya Thursday in Addis Ababa on ways to facilitate an agreement. All agreed on the need for a legitimate force to be deployed.  In addition, the United States has put into place a mechanism to apply travel bans or freeze assets if needed on individuals deemed as perpetuating the violence in South Sudan.
 
IGAD has also recently deployed monitoring and verification teams on the ground in Bor, Malakal and Bentui.
 
It has been three weeks since the last round of talks took place.
 
Seyoum Mesfin has made it clear that he wants both parties to produce concrete results.
 
”More killings have taken place in the country after the singing of cessation of hostilities than before. This is lack of commitment on both parties. The region and international community are saying enough is enough to this sort of breaching of agreement,” he said.
 
Fighting in South Sudan erupted after President Salva Kirr accused his former vice president, Riek Machar, of a coup. The violence has left thousands dead and more than a million displaced.
 
More people will be affected soon as a famine is looming in the country. Most farmers could not plant their fields before the upcoming rain season because of the security situation.

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

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs