News / Africa

South Sudan Peace Talks Resume Despite Threatened Boycott

Taban Deng Gai, chief negotiator from South Sudan's opposition, center, shakes hands with an unidentified western observer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 4, 2014.
Taban Deng Gai, chief negotiator from South Sudan's opposition, center, shakes hands with an unidentified western observer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 4, 2014.
TEXT SIZE - +
Marthe van der Wolf
— The second phase of peace talks between South Sudan’s fighting factions officially opened Tuesday in Ethiopia's capital. Despite earlier threats to boycott the proceedings, the rebels have committed to participating.
 
The first round of talks between the government and the rebels ended with two agreements: one calling for a cessation of hostilities, and the other dealing with the status of political detainees held by South Sudan government.

This second round of negotiations will focus on the political process to take South Sudan forward after weeks of fighting.

The lead negotiator says the negotiations should begin by acknowledging the collective failure in South Sudan.
 
“There were various indications that things were not going well," said Seyoum Mesfin of the East African Bloc IGAD. "The gaps between the demands of the people on the one hand and what the government was able to deliver was wide. Disillusionment with corruption and inadequate governance was high. The leadership failed to see this and to respond with a coherent policy and visible commitment to address the issues of peace, security and development in a coordinated way.”

The opposition, as the rebels call themselves, threatened to boycott negotiations if certain demands weren't met but ultimately agreed to participate in the next round of talks, which address root causes of the fighting and the goals of nation-building and national reconciliation.
 
The chief negotiator of the opposition side, General Taban Deng Gai, says the government's commitment to comply with the signed agreements is vital for the next round of talks.
 
“The agreement signed has not been honored to the fullest," he said. "Of the 11 detainees, only seven were released while four are still behind bars. This is another very serious violation of cessation of hostilities.”

Talks will start as soon as the seven released detainees arrive in Ethiopia. They are currently still in Kenya, where they were sent after their release last month.

The government of South Sudan says the other four will not be freed.
 
The government has accused the rebels of violating last month's agreements as well. Chief negotiator Nhial Deng Nhial blames the violations on the leadership of the opposition:
 
“We had expressed our concern about the inability to the other party on its own to control its forces and make them abide by the cessation of hostilities agreement,” he said.

The fighting sprung out of a political feud between high officials of South Sudan’s ruling party, the  SPLM. The resulting conflict has killed thousands of South Sudanese and driven more than a half-million from their homes.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid