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.
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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid