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

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.