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

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs