News / Africa

South Sudan President, Opposition Chief to Meet, US Official Says

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.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
— South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar have assured a senior U.S. State Department official that they will hold face-to-face talks when the next round of peace talks begins in Addis Ababa this week.

Counselor of the Department of State Thomas Shannon, who advises Secretary of State John Kerry on major foreign policy problems, told reporters that the two rivals made the pledge to him when he visited Juba over the weekend.

Mr. Kiir and Machar agreed to meet within a month when they signed an agreement in May, reaffirming their commitment to a ceasefire that has so far failed to take hold. Their meeting on May 9 was the first time they had met since South Sudan plunged into violence in mid-December.


People's voice must be heard


Shannon said the May 9 agreement was a key step toward restoring peace in South Sudan. It not only restated both sides' commitment to a ceasefire, but also laid the groundwork for forming a transitional government and for bringing in a regional force to protect ceasefire monitors.

But ultimately, Shannon said, the success of the peace process will depend on the extent to which ordinary South Sudanese are involved in deciding the future of their country.

"It’s really going to be up to the people of South Sudan to determine how their government is going to look," he said.

"But with the help of regional partners, with the help of mediators, with help of the U.N. and the African Union, I believe we can create an environment in which that government will actually be able to create a peaceful space that will allow for the immediate needs of South Sudan to be met," he said.

The regional bloc mediating the peace talks, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), appears to be thinking along the same lines. Last week, IGAD brought together representatives of South Sudanese civil society, political parties, faith-based groups and traditional leaders for a symposium to brainstorm ways to end the conflict and discuss how to move the country forward once the fighting has stopped.

IGAD has agreed to expand the number of parties at the talks, which are due to get back under way on Tuesday. The next round of talks will include not only the government and opposition but also representatives of civil society, political parties and a group of politicians who were detained when the fighting started in December.

Shannon is expected to travel to the Ethiopian capital this week for the talks. He will be accompanied by U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bol maluil from: tonj south county
June 10, 2014 11:32 AM
i beg my people inorder for them to sign peace agreement

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid