News / Africa

IGAD Mediator Makes Poignant Plea for South Sudan Peace

Members of South Sudan's rebel delegation are seen at the opening ceremony of peace talks in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 4, 2014.
Members of South Sudan's rebel delegation are seen at the opening ceremony of peace talks in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 4, 2014.
One of the chief mediators in the South Sudan peace talks pleaded with the two warring factions to urgently resolve their differences so that parents in the world's newest nation can stop burying their children.


In a country of war, it is the parents who bury their sons and daughters, while in a country of peace, it is the sons and daughters who bury their parents.
“In a country of war, it is the parents who bury their sons and daughters, while in a country of peace, it is the sons and daughters who bury their parents," Ethiopian diplomat Seyoum Mesfin told a news conference Monday at the close of preliminary talks mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) between the two sides in the South Sudan conflict.

"South Sudan has been more than two, three generations since the parents were burying their sons and daughters," he said.

Just two and a half years after the country gained its hard-fought independence after a decades-long war with Sudan, "again, parents are burying their loved ones, their sons and daughters," he added, pleading with South Sudanese leaders to bury their differences and make peace to finally end the suffering of the people.


Seyoum was speaking after preliminary negotiations wrapped up in Addis Ababa between delegates representing South Sudan President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, the two main protagonists in the fighting that has claimed more than than 1,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands in three weeks.

The two sides on Tuesday held a first day of what Seyoum said would be "substantive" talks focussed on the cessation of hostilities and the status of 11 senior members of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) who were detained by the government in the days following the outbreak of fighting in Juba on Dec. 15. 


Machar has called for the detainees to be released so that they could be part of his negotiating team in Addis Ababa, but Kiir has insisted that the talks go ahead without preconditions and ruled out releasing the detainees. 

The U.S. State Department called for the SPLM leaders to be released so that they could take part in the talks in the Ethiopian capital.

"We do believe that to be meaningful and productive, senior SPLM leaders currently detained in Juba need to be present for political discussions, which are happening in Addis," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said..

"To help move these talks forward, we urge the government of South Sudan to uphold its commitments and release political detainees immediately," she said.

Kiir, who has said the unrest that has spread around South Sudan was triggered by a failed coup attempt by soldiers loyal to Machar, has said the detainees will only be released "after legal procedures have been exhausted," adding that "they will be released, but not as a precondition for talks.”

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John Wani Ladu from: Juba
January 07, 2014 11:26 PM
Kirr is just try to get rid of his political opponents, he doesn't want democratic changes within party n country, he's a dictator n need to go or accept democratic changes not arrests intimidations n right abuses, USA should help South Sudan by pressure Kirr to accept n respect democratic changes for better future.

by: Anonymous
January 07, 2014 10:42 PM
For God's sake the unfold event in Juba was not a coup as President Kiir alleged to. It would be a big joke for somebody to make a coup and would still sit in his own houses as happened to these SPLM senior leaders who were accused of the 'Coup attempt'.

by: Amde from: Addis
January 07, 2014 10:16 PM
The request for the release of the detained SPLM leaders is to help creat an aura of trust and confidence to the peace process. I believe all of us know that peace comes with a price. That price no matter how expensive it is never be greater than South Sudan and its innocent people.We should stand way above procedural matters that have no far reaching impact to the Peace and survaival of S Sudan.

by: Akoon from: Juba
January 07, 2014 2:00 PM
Why U.S always interfering in Suoth Sudan affair we are independent we want them to mastermind law of the country and this people should not release without facing charges of treason.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs