News / Africa

South Sudan Peace Process Stalls

Opposition negotiator Hussein Mar Nyuot, shown here at January peace talks for South Sudan, says the opposition is boycotting the latest round of talks until IGAD responds to a request that the negotiations be more inclusive.Opposition negotiator Hussein Mar Nyuot, shown here at January peace talks for South Sudan, says the opposition is boycotting the latest round of talks until IGAD responds to a request that the negotiations be more inclusive.
x
Opposition negotiator Hussein Mar Nyuot, shown here at January peace talks for South Sudan, says the opposition is boycotting the latest round of talks until IGAD responds to a request that the negotiations be more inclusive.
Opposition negotiator Hussein Mar Nyuot, shown here at January peace talks for South Sudan, says the opposition is boycotting the latest round of talks until IGAD responds to a request that the negotiations be more inclusive.
Lucy Poni
South Sudan's stumbling peace process hit another bump in its rocky road Friday when the opposition refused to take part in the latest round of peace talks, saying their demands to make the negotiations more inclusive have been ignored by the mediators.

Opposition spokesman Hussein Mar Nyuot said his side did not attend the opening session of the talks in Addis Ababa Friday because a demand they lodged last week with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) -- asking that stakeholder groups that have fled the country or are based outside Juba be allowed to take part in the talks -- has gone unanswered.

“Unfortunately, we have not received any response to our letter and surprisingly we were just told yesterday that you just go to the hall and we are opening tomorrow and that’s all," Mar Nyuot said.

"They have not actually responded to us ... We are waiting.  We are saying our participation is conditional with this, that we need to hear from IGAD concerning inclusivity,” he said.

Most of the civil society groups in Addis Ababa for the talks are organizations that have remained in Juba during the six months of unrest, Mar Nyuot said.

Opposition leader Riek Machar said in an interview with South Sudan in Focus this week that the groups that are present at the talks "probably are pro-government."

Presidential Spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said it was unfortunate that the talks have stalled yet again. He said the delay was a ploy by the opposition to grab attention.
 
“If the rebels are threatening to pull from the peace talks, it is unfortunate and it is the IGAD mediators to be able to see how they can deal with such behaviors," Ateny said, adding "maybe this is another attention-seeking ploy." 

Ateny said that government delegates will remain at the talks as IGAD figures out what to do next. Mar Nyuot said opposition delegates will return to the negotiating table in Addis as soon as their demands are met.

But the opposition spokesman also warned that the latest postponement of the talks could mean that a 60-day deadline agreed to last week for setting up a transitional government for South Sudan might not be met. 


Latest of many obstacles


The delay to the talks is just one of many bumps on the road to peace in South Sudan.

The latest round of peace negotiations was supposed to start Monday, but was postponed after an IGAD official reportedly said President Salva Kiir and Machar were stupid if they thought they can win the conflict on the battlefield. 

The government said it would not return to the negotiating table until it had an apology for the statement while Machar called the remark unfortunate but said it shouldn't prevent the peace talks from moving forward.

His main gripe was with the lack of inclusivity at the talks, Machar said. 

The first agreement to lay down arms and stop the fighting in South Sudan was signed in January, but like the agreements that have come since then, it was violated before the ink was dry.
 
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.
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.
Under the terms of yet another agreement signed last week, Mr. Kiir and Machar agreed to set up a transitional government within 60 days.

But in a speech to South Sudan's National Assembly on Thursday, Kiir said he would only agree to the creation of an interim government if he were to be head of it.

Meanwhile, 1.5 million South Sudanese have been displaced by the conflict, a cholera outbreak in Juba has claimed dozens of lives, and the international community and aid agencies are warning that famine could hit the young nation, where more than seven million people are at risk of hunger and disease.
Matthew Buru, 4, undergoes intravenous treatment for cholera at a Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Gudele, near Juba, South Sudan. The Health Ministry declared a cholera outbreak in Juba on May 15, 2014.
Matthew Buru, 4, undergoes intravenous treatment for cholera at a Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Gudele, near Juba, South Sudan. The Health Ministry declared a cholera outbreak in Juba on May 15, 2014.
U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, on Monday repeated a call for South Sudan's leaders to put their words into action and show that they mean business with the signing of yet another agreement to stop fighting and ensure that help reaches people who need it.

And in a letter sent last week to Mr. Kiir and Machar, 14 African elder statesmen, including South African Nobel laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, demanded an immediate end to the violence. 

"Over half of South Sudan’s population is at risk of starvation and 223,000 children are at risk of acute malnutrition. 50,000 of these children may not survive. The people of South Sudan need peace and security now, not more war!" the letter said.  

 
Karin Zeitvogel contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nyakor from: US
June 22, 2014 6:49 PM
I cannot believe the government of South Sudan have postponed the peace neogotiation because they want an apology from the IGAD for the simple word "stupid". This word in my opinion fits well according to the life that South Sudan is in. For example, they have a famine and people are dying because of diseases, shooting everywhere while the government themselves brought this situation by killing civilians in Juba. I think the government should apologize to the people of the country instead of the simple word "stupid". When you see a situation likes this, it forces you to say a word you never meant to say. Asking the IGAD for an apology is dumb. The problem has overwhelmed them because they are working on a situation that they don't know when it will end. Please get rid of your stubborness. Simply humble yourself and bring peace to this nation.

by: Lisa from: Tx
June 21, 2014 12:39 AM
This time i prefer opposition, the reason from the being splm brought its tricks by collecting its supporters through different organization like civil society, which is pure splm, but pretended to be from different sectors. Most the of opposition within the country could not ID themselves because of the fear of the kiirs government . Second , most of the opposition are either in surounded areas or in south Sudan. they fear about their families lifes. By the way who is controlling IGAD ? If its another countries, then the Ethiopian government have to follow its boss, which also sound like most of the counties in IGAD are contributing to south Sudan war, because of their interests. That is why they could not respond to the opposition demand. But if the Ethiopian government is a sign to bring peace through peaceful resettlement, then they should act for the sake of the dying generation of south Sudan. if they care about humanity. And put behind their your self interest and allow the opposition damend. I don't see the reason of IGAD running around while people are dying. This might be another excuses of protecting splm, or your turning a game of studipity to play tricks. the way splm rejected to attent IGAD. Unless you say sorry,

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs