News / Africa

    South Sudanese Demand Government Return to Peace Talks

    A woman and her children displaced by fighting in South Sudan sit outside their tent at the Kule camp for Internally Displaced People at the Pagak border crossing in Gambella, Ethiopia, July 10, 2014.
    A woman and her children displaced by fighting in South Sudan sit outside their tent at the Kule camp for Internally Displaced People at the Pagak border crossing in Gambella, Ethiopia, July 10, 2014.
    Philip Aleu

    South Sudanese civil society groups called on the government and opposition Wednesday to engage in meaningful talks to bring peace to South Sudan after the government failed to show up for the negotiations for a sixth day.

    "Let them think about the children suffering now in IDP camps, how women are suffering, giving birth to babies in places that are not really healthy for babies," said Angelina Daniel, a member of the End Impunity Organization (EIO) that is calling on both sides to return to the negotiating table.

    The government delegation has not shown up for peace talks in Addis Ababa, brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), since last week.

    The government said they want the opposition to agree to a matrix outlining how the cessation of hostilities agreement is implemented before it joins the latest session of peace talks. The cessation of hostilities agreement was signed by both parties in January but has been repeatedly violated since then.

    We don't need papers to sign; we need something to be done on the ground.

    When the conflict began in December, the government insisted it would not take part in negotiations if the opposition set pre-conditions for the talks.

    Before the January talks got under way, the opposition demanded the release of 11 high-ranking politicians who were detained when fighting broke out in Juba on Dec. 15. The opposition has since then made other demands, including the withdrawal of Ugandan troops who are fighting alongside government forces in South Sudan.

    Both sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the January cessation of hostilities agreement and stalling the peace process.

    Boycott delays peace process

    Daniel said boycotting the peace talks and insisting that the other side should sign yet another paper was an unnecessary waste of time and was delaying the peace process. 

    "We don't need papers to sign, we need something to be done on the ground," she said.

    "We say please, please, our government, feel our pain. Hear our voices... our brothers, sisters and dear sons and daughters are suffering," she said.

    The priority of all participants at the talks in Addis Ababa, said Daniel, should be to try to avoid famine in South Sudan and to improve the dire conditions in which hundreds of thousands of displaced persons are living.

    Frustrated by slow-moving talks

    Catherine Pita, a member of the South Sudan's Women's Platform for Peace, said she was hopeful when the current fifth round of much-delayed peace talks got under way two weeks ago, but her hope turned to disbelief and frustration as the government refuses to take part.

    “I think it is a very outrageous thing to hear that the peace talks are not going on in Addis," Pita said, "because we know very well how much (suffering) this conflict has already caused in the country.

    "We hope and we are praying that the stakeholders go back to the table to dialogue for peace."

    Pita recalled that President Salva Kiir promised on his return from the U.S.-Africa summit in Washington this month that his government will restore peace to South Sudan.

    "I am just asking the government to consider the promise they have given to South Sudanese so that they go back to the table and discuss this peace," she said. 

    "I am urging our government and the opposition and all the stakeholders -- the U.N., IGAD -- to do all that is in their power, to sit down and make sure that peace comes to South Sudan," for the good of the South Sudanese people, she said.

    Some four million South Sudanese are food insecure because of the eight-month conflict, and around 1.5 million have been forced from their homes by the fighting. U.N. agencies have warned that famine could hit the country unless the unrest stops soon. 

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    The Complicated Math of AIDS

    Billions are spent on AIDS prevention, research, treatment — and major events like the International AIDS Conference. Activists say victims of the disease are paying for these costs.

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: makur gang from: united states
    August 23, 2014 8:01 AM
    Let the rebel leader, think very well that fighting a wrong a war or killing the innocent citizens, of the southern Sudanese people will result of losing your nike throughout the justice. Would be rather good to sign the peace agreement with government of the southern Sudan period.

    by: Lakueijik Dut from: Kampala
    August 22, 2014 1:58 PM
    Rebels are the one not intersting in peace talk beacuse they jump from agenda to aganda

    by: malolo kudior from: juba
    August 22, 2014 4:10 AM
    The negotiation become as gargaining commodity in which one side forwareded some accusese for delay tactic. dear civilians let note this, when the two bulls are in battle, the grass suffer.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora