News / Africa

South Sudan Urges Rebels to Negotiate in ‘Good Faith’

Opposition negotiators Hussein Mar Nyuot (L), and Mabior de Garang (C) at peace talks for South Sudan in Addis Ababa.
Opposition negotiators Hussein Mar Nyuot (L), and Mabior de Garang (C) at peace talks for South Sudan in Addis Ababa.
Peter Clottey

South Sudan’s information minister called on the representatives of the rebels fighting the government in Juba to negotiate in good faith and ensure peace is restored to citizens as the next phase of peace talks is set to begin this week in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Michael Makuei said the rebels have yet to make any concessions since the beginning of peace negotiations to end over seven months of South Sudan’s conflict.

“The government [has] made so many concessions to the extent that it has now we have almost reached a stage of saturation, whereby we will not be in a position to give any further concession,” said Makuei. “The rebels have never conceded in anyway. But the government has been conceding all this time up to the last minute. So, there is no way issues of sovereignty can be compromised,”                    

He called on the international community to pressure the rebels to compromise.

“This time it is up to the international community to press on the rebels to ensure that they also concede on their demands,” said Makuei. “We expect the rebels to come to their senses so that they talk peace so that we stop these killings we stop this violations, which they have been constantly doing so that we bring peace to our people so that our people live in peace and harmony. This is the most important thing.”                                         

Makuei blamed the rebels for the last adjournment of the negotiations. He said the reasons given for their decision to boycott the last round of talks was against the provisions of the protocols of the agreement signed between President Salva Kiir and former vice president and rebel leader Riek Machar.

“Bearing that in mind, we call on the rebels to enter the next phase of the peace talks in good faith so that we bring peace to our people,” said Makuei. “The rebels, up to now, their positions are not clear. Last time they boycotted the talks because they did not want to sit with all the stakeholders.  They demanded that the government should only sit with the rebels and the stakeholders should be consultants.”

The government accused the rebels of breaching a ceasefire agreement signed between Kiir and Machar after the rebels attacked Ayod town last week.

A rebel delegation failed to meet Ugandan officials as part of the peace negotiations after both groups attributed the failure to miscommunication.

The rebels insist Uganda withdraw troops from South Sudan as their main demand to ending the conflict at the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia mediated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.

But information minister Makuei disagreed, saying the administration in Juba is not going to compromise the country’s sovereignty by calling on Uganda to withdraw its troops.

“These are issues of sovereignty and it is unquestionable. There is nowhere in the world where a rebel group will dictate [to a] government and say that this should be done so we do this,” said Makuei.

Clottey interview with Michael Makuei, South Sudan information minister
Clottey interview with Michael Makuei, South Sudan information ministeri
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Comment Sorting
by: akot mathuc
August 05, 2014 8:35 PM
Message for south sudan today my people of south i w one p one nation our cty is yang so we pace for h people of south Sudan thank u for pace

by: akol dend akot from: juba
July 31, 2014 2:35 PM
As I belong to south Sudan,I love my country which is south Sudan with the people who are in,so I would respect the my government under leadership of our president general salva kiir mayerdit ,I request Mr. rebel taking of office is not simply like that by using gun to get,there is the process of it, please change your mind and follow the process of election that were many people in the world get positions.god will see people death in the south whom will take accountable for their deaths,makes peace to us we didn't want war against in the south Sudan.

by: akol deng akot from: juba
July 31, 2014 1:17 PM
I request the government of South Sudan and rebel of south Sudan to bring peace in our country,because we lose many people in South Sudan,I would like our leaders and rebels leaders to joins their head to agree on one thing as brothers and sisters,as we do said every time ,one nation,one people.

by: Lisa from: Tx
July 30, 2014 5:26 PM
Makuei, this is not a game, stop accusing Dr riek. Remember south sudanese are tried of your government. even your own Amy have decided not to fight Dr rieks people , but instead you kill them, because they refuse to join Dr riek. This time make no mistake, even the international community will not take sides. But only the truth through divine mercy, whoever take sides for their interest, God will disown their families. I said once again the lord is looking watching who represent his innocent children. I believe in Dr riek and i know through him the country will be in peace. If you believe in Jesus, stop politicking and free Gods people. Makuei, its time for peace enough is enough.

by: Anonymous
July 30, 2014 2:26 PM
Riek and his groups as well as their families are living comfortably in Addis ababa and in diaspora, forgetting suffering people in UN camps n refugees camps. They should not take negotiation as an enterprise.

by: Thiep m from: Wau
July 30, 2014 1:03 PM
Rebels demands are so infinitive, therefore, it is better to fight.

by: Beny Bai from: kampala
July 30, 2014 12:11 PM
Ineed what I realise from Riak and Mabor Garang's group is just looking for more killing of which we're not accepting let USA begin blaming them alone not both sides of the warring parties

July 30, 2014 4:26 AM
This should be a wake up call to the rebels
In Response

by: S Tiepple
July 30, 2014 10:47 AM
South Sudan's government started this civil war when they tried to assassinate Riek Marchar (former VP) and actually massacred hundreds of his fellow tribesmen in December. How does an opposition movement negotiate "in good faith" with a government that practices mass murder?

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
July 30, 2014 3:09 AM
In a very slow motion, Somalis are coming back from senseless tribal and religious civil war landscape, while our brothers in South Sudan seem to be in hurry to head with speed towards killing field.
Africans have got to learn lessons from our past mistakes.

by: pidor from: Seattle, Washington
July 29, 2014 10:45 PM
I think the only way to get the peace in the New young country is let Uganda military out in our country. That is only way to get peace.

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