News / Africa

S. Sudan Warring Parties Ready for Another Round of Talks

FILE - South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (R) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchange signed peace agreement documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.
FILE - South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (R) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchange signed peace agreement documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.
Gabe Joselow

New peace talks between South Sudan's warring parties have been delayed by at least a day, as the two sides prepare for another round of negotiations.  Hopes for a lasting peace are pinned to the process, which has repeatedly failed to end the seven-month conflict.

The talks between South Sudan's government and the rebel opposition were scheduled to resume Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

FILE - South Sudanese information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth attends a press conference in Addis Ababa, Jan. 5, 2014.FILE - South Sudanese information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth attends a press conference in Addis Ababa, Jan. 5, 2014.
x
FILE - South Sudanese information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth attends a press conference in Addis Ababa, Jan. 5, 2014.
FILE - South Sudanese information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth attends a press conference in Addis Ababa, Jan. 5, 2014.


South Sudan government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth says negotiators, just getting back to work after the Eid holiday break, needed more time to prepare for the talks.  But he says they do expect to have a team ready in the coming days.

 
The negotiations were initially due to resume last month, but were delayed because of opposition demands that civil society and diaspora groups be allowed to take part as stakeholders.
 
Makuei says the government has no issue with those demands.
 
"For us, as the government, we don't care as to who participates and who does what.  What we want is peace.  So if increasing the number of the participants and so forth or the stakeholders will bring peace so be it," he said.
 
Two spokesmen for the opposition also confirmed the talks had been delayed at the government's request, but that their side is ready to resume negotiations when called.

FILE - Thousands of people wait in the hot sun near the air drop zone in Leer, South Sudan, July 5, 2014.FILE - Thousands of people wait in the hot sun near the air drop zone in Leer, South Sudan, July 5, 2014.
x
FILE - Thousands of people wait in the hot sun near the air drop zone in Leer, South Sudan, July 5, 2014.
FILE - Thousands of people wait in the hot sun near the air drop zone in Leer, South Sudan, July 5, 2014.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in South Sudan since a political conflict between President Salva Kiir and his main rival Riek Machar descended into inter-ethnic violence in December.

​The two sides have agreed to three separate cease-fire agreements in talks organized by the East African group of nations IGAD, but all of the deals have been violated soon after signing.

 
David Deng, research director for the South Sudan Law Society, says there is measured optimism about these talks, despite their failure to produce a lasting deal so far.
 
"I think people are sober in terms of how they assess the possibilities for peace coming out of the process, but at the same time hopeful and I think aware that there's no other game in town and there's a lot riding on this process," he said.
 
An agreement in June called for a transitional government that was to be established by the second week of August.  But, because of delays to the negotiations and continued fighting, that deadline is unlikely to be met.
 
Deng says in order for the two sides to move toward substantive matters of reconciliation, there must first be a lasting ceasefire.
 
"A very important thing to watch out for is the responses of the groups on the ground in the coming days and weeks. And if we can see them hold off in terms of aggressive action toward one another, then hopefully that can leave enough room for parties to begin engaging on some of these political questions moving forward," he said.
 
According to the United Nations, more than one million South Sudanese have been displaced by violence since the conflict began, while aid agencies have warned that some parts of the country are at risk of falling into famine.
 

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: William Lual from: Az
July 31, 2014 6:06 AM
Please Mr.President and Dr. Riek except peace our people were suffering for long in the hands of Arab and now in your owned hand. Give peace a chance and stops the bleeding . We are tried of war without courses and justication. Please Lord have mercy to the children of Cush. Give our leaders piece of mind and blessed the heart to agree on peace and love to their people.


by: Dengtaath from: Greater Akobo state
July 31, 2014 3:12 AM
It will be resumed sucessfuly but if government does not stop bring stakeholders to the table it is going to the same like the other talk failed last with no conclusion
Remember government bombardment of rebel position will lead to attack from rebel and peace talk may not go well.


by: Lisa from: Tx
July 30, 2014 6:01 PM
Please Jesus, let their be a new chapter we need a change in the country, so that the killing of the innocent stop. Let salva accept that he can not bring peace but to step aside. Divine mercy here my prayers. Let Dr riek lead your people for this time, you know his heart better.no more politicking but a vote for peace .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid