News / Africa

    South Sudan Peace Talks Adjourned

    Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) logo
    Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) logo
    Lucy Poni
    The East African bloc mediating peace talks for South Sudan adjourned the negotiations on Monday to allow its envoys to try to get the talks back on track after the opposition refused to take part in the latest round.

    During the adjournment, special envoys from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will hold "broad consultations with South Sudanese stakeholders, the leaders of the IGAD region, the African Union the United Nations Security Council and other friends and partners of South Sudan," IGAD said in a statement.

    They will also follow up on efforts that are being made to deploy teams in South Sudan to monitor a ceasefire that has struggled to take hold. 

    The so-called Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) was agreed to when the first cessation of hostilities agreement was signed in January, but the deployment of monitoring teams and regional troops to protect them was halted when fighting picked up again a few months later. 

    The two sides in the South Sudan conflict have met several times in Addis Ababa for IGAD-led peace talks. The latest round, which opened on Friday, was supposed to bring parties besides the government and opposition to the negotiating table.

    The opposition boycotted the talks because, it said, a request to IGAD that groups in exile and internally displaced persons be included in the negotiations fell on deaf ears.

    IGAD faulted the opposition for boycotting the talks, saying the move went against two agreements signed on May 9 and June 10 by President Salva Kiir and his former deputy turned opposition leader, Riek Machar.
     

    Adjournment 'unnecessary,' opposition says


    Opposition Deputy Spokesman Mabior Garang de Mabior said his side is not trying to block the talks.
     
    “I can categorically say that we are not an obstacle to the peace," he said.

    "What our dissatisfaction was, was the flawed nature in which the civil society were chosen because in this case we are the ones who have championed the cause of inclusivity and we stand by that cause,” Mabior said, repeating an assertion by the opposition that the civil society groups represented at the talks were all from Juba.

    Mabior said adjourning the talks will "only prolong the war and the suffering of our people, and we wanted an end to this war."

    The opposition asked IGAD to allow the two main sides in the talks to continue to meet face-to-face while the mediators "work out fair representation of civil society," Mabior said.
      
    Presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, said the government had no hand in selecting the civil society groups who were at the talks.
     
    He called on the opposition to return to the negotiations so that peace can be restored in South Sudan.
     
    “South Sudanese need peace," he said. "I hope those who are negotiating peace in Addis Ababa, especially on the side of rebels, understand this and the quicker they come to attend the fourth session of negotiation, in order to expedite the signing of peace agreement so that we move to another stage, the earlier they do it, the better.”

    Both sides said that the latest obstacle to the talks made a 60-day deadline for forming a transitional government, which Mr. Kiir and Machar agreed to on June 10, look unrealistic.
    A sick displaced man lies asleep on a bed while a mother bathes her son and keeps an eye on her other child in the United Nations camp in Juba, South Sudan, Feb. 12, 2014.
    A sick displaced man lies asleep on a bed while a mother bathes her son and keeps an eye on her other child in the United Nations camp in Juba, South Sudan, Feb. 12, 2014.

    Several deals to end the fighting in South Sudan have been signed but none has been adhered to. As violence has ground on, the young country has fallen deeper and deeper into crisis, with the United Nations saying 1.5 million people have been forced from their homes and 3.9 million people will face "alarming food insecurity" by the end of August. 

    IGAD called in its statement on "the political leaders of South Sudan to assume their responsibilities with the same resolve that their neighbors and the international community attach to this tragic situation."

    IGAD did not indicate for how long the talks would be adjourned.
    Mugume Davis Rwakaringi contributed to this report from Juba.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    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