News / Africa

South Sudan Factions to Begin ‘Face-to-Face’ Talks

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.
Peter Clottey
Representatives of South Sudan’s warring factions will begin their first face-to-face talks on Tuesday following an agreement on the agenda and format of the peace negotiations, according to Dina Mufti, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry spokesman.

Mufti says a ceasefire will be on the agenda on Tuesday as well as several other issues.

“Definitely, a ceasefire will be on top of the agenda, the release of the detainees. There are some people who have been detained by the government side, the opening of the humanitarian corridor, because there was huge dislocation of the population, and other pertinent issues,” said Mufti.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, backed by member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), is tasked with mediating the talks between the two warring factions. 

So far the two sides have failed to adhere to a ceasefire demanded by the regional bloc, the African Union and the international community.

“The international community is watching [the factions], the South Sudanese people are watching them because these people are yearning for peace, for stability,” said Mufti. “These are people who have emerged from decades of war and destruction and I think they can’t afford to come back to that cycle.”

Mufti says the two sides have demonstrated a willingness to engage in dialogue as part of efforts to end weeks of conflict in South Sudan.

“That is why they were both working on Sunday and yesterday [Monday], and that is a sign of having enthusiasm for it because they have been working out the terms of reference, modalities, and so agendas were formulated that emerged from the proxy talks,” said  Mufti.

He says regional foreign ministers from IGAD member states including Kenya and Ethiopia played key roles as part of the proxy talks that led to talks between the warring factions.

South Sudan’s ongoing violence erupted after President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, accused former vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer, of attempting a coup.  Macher, who is in hiding, denied the accusation.

Clottey interview with Dina Mufti, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry spokesman
Clottey interview with Dina Mufti, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry spokesmani
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Comment Sorting
by: oryema harrison emoi from: Kaabong, uganda
January 07, 2014 5:32 AM
Editor;- The current crisis in South Sudan is scaring, ranging from rape, vandalism, horrible death and displacement of both nationals and non-nationals on both political and ethnical lines.Riek Machar and Salva Kir attempts to lead the youngest country in the world is so deadly. But the question is “should we seek for cease fire, dialogue or continue with the conflict”? .In as much as anyone would not be happy to see human blood flow, I propose that South Sudan should continue with the fight only between the two conflicting parties, without any exogenous military support/intervention until when we see one party feeble/weak, and then issues of cease fire and dialogue can follow suit because currently Riek Machar is still too “interested in exercising his former guerilla tactics and looks too nervous’, I should say which doesn’t allow him to have time for a dialogue and this explains why he prefers sending his delegates for peace talks . Besides though peace dialogue (s) is very critical as we desire currently ,there is high possibility of it being unsuccessful because no one can resolve a case when the fight is ongoing and as a process of peace building the international community should not be conventional as inform of ensuring peace dialogue or cease fire as usual since conflict has got many faces. Finally South Sudan to attain a permanent and sustainable peace the international community should work out to create a semi-Autonomous state ( occupied by the Dink neur, and Riek machar as the president) whereas south Sudan will still be led by Salva kiir as the president) because the people of Sudan in general have suffered in human treatment mainly because the international community has only considered the political realm of the Sudan crisis not taking into account the ethnical differences which has been occurring incessantly and thus providing half diagnosis and treatment.
By Harrison Oryema Emoi, Kaabong , Uganda

by: Ruot lew from: jonglie Nyirol county
January 07, 2014 2:27 AM
well done Dr Riek of being alert of this triblic Goverment lead by Salva kiir . I really appreciate the way you response to this mad guy from dinka

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