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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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 .

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora