News / Africa

South Sudan Peace Talks Hit New Obstacle

Lucy PoniPhilip Aleu

The latest round of peace talks for South Sudan stumbled into a third day Wednesday, with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) scolding the opposition for boycotting the talks after changing its position on who should take part in them.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the IGAD special envoys for South Sudan said the opposition side failed to attend the second day of talks, even though they had "repeatedly assured the mediation of their commitment 
to the inclusive, multi-stakeholder roundtable peace process and the modalities for comprehensive talks."

IGAD called on the opposition to "honor its commitment to resolve the crisis" and said it expects its negotiators "to immediately return to and fully participate in the multi-stakeholder negotiations." 

The fifth round of talks to end nearly eight months of conflict in South Sudan got under way on Monday after a break of more than a month.

IGAD adjourned the previous round after the opposition failed to show up on the opening day. That time, the opposition said their demands that stakeholder groups that have fled the country or are based outside Juba be allowed to take part in the talks, had fallen on deaf ears.

This time, the opposition said it was boycotting the talks because they wanted them to be between only the two main parties to the conflict.

Opposition 'not against inclusivity'

Opposition spokesman Mabior Garang said his side is "not against inclusivity" but first wants to have "direct negotiations with the government to see how we can stop this war so that we can have a more conducive environment in which what the stakeholders want to be done, can be done."

"We are still at the stage of stopping the war,” not trying to hammer out what a transitional government for South Sudan would look like, he said.

Mr. Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to set up a transitional government within 60 days when they met in Addis Ababa in June. The deadline for setting up the transitional government falls this week.

Mabior said some of the parties to the talks were more focussed on setting up a transitional government by the deadline than on restoring peace in South Sudan.

Opposition creating confusion

Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said the opposition has created confusion by backtracking on its commitment to take part in multi-party talks.

“It was their position that has led the mediators into pressuring the government to accept that all other stakeholders had to be included in the talks. They are now coming back to our position," he said, noting that when the talks began in January, the government wanted them to be bilateral -- between itself and the opposition.

Ateny said the government changed its tune when it was accused of obstructing the peace process.

"We were seen as not being flexible and not serious about bringing peace to South Sudan. The rebels were telling the whole world that the government was not serious. Now the world is seeing them, they are the ones who are not serious,” Ateny said.

Mabior said the opposition is "still fully committed to the peace process."

"There is no other way that we envision being victorious in this war except through a peace process," he said.

Ateny said Mr. Kiir has instructed the government team in Addis Ababa not to return to Juba  without a peace deal.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kim Lony Gatluak from: USA
August 07, 2014 6:22 AM
President salva kiir dislike peace to bring in south sudan
but our leader Dr Riek Machar Teny stand for peace to come in south sudan

by: Lisa from: Tx
August 07, 2014 12:58 AM
South Sudan government accusestion and blame will not help to bring peace in the country. We all know very well that presendent kiir, started all this mess and thousand of innocent die every day, if you look at the opposition clearly their demand is first for the government and the opposition to find a common ground to stop the fighting between the two groups. It is not easy when you talk peace and your own people being killed, let us not pretend that the government want peace. The presendent blame Dr riek some days ago that he can't control his forces which is not true, the people who are fighting the government is the government army itself, if it was Dr riek problem with the rebel then let the people call for vote instead of destroying lifes of millions of people for nothing. Can we have commonsense here towords the end of this year its the end of the presendent term in the office if that is the case instead of playing blame game IGAD have to start a new chapter for change, call off the so-call formation of the interim government and work for democratic change. By asking the citizens of south Sudan to vote for whom they think will help with the development of the country. Well the current presendent have no goal for his country to move forward. Fact look at the pot holes at the airport second hospital, schools even government building looks creep because its all where devil works. the whole country look sad and worry just because of one perston. But believe me God is alive, he want every south sudanese to ask for mercy and forgiveness then peace will come. For the people who are in love with killing innocent people their days are numbered. I support Dr riek until die he is the only man who will lead us to peace and freedom. For people who hate Dr riek ask yourself why he ask for peace between SPDF and SPLM since 2002. And why the country got separated from the north. Com'on you idiots he call for south sudanese to be free from the north. Hate me or like me am for peace and commonsense.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
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 Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
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 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 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.

VOA Blogs