For Online E-newspaper
The East African : July 28th 2014
14 Though both camps have said that they are ready to resume talks, the mediators are disappointed at the commitments of the two principals. Picture: File The EastAfrican NEWS JULY 26 - AUGUST 1, 2014 FEAR OF FURTHER DELAYS S. Sudan peace talks hang in the balance Renewed fighting could a≠ect the ≥esumption of talks scheduled fo≥ end of July in Addis Ababa By BARBARA AMONG Special Correspondent T he fighting between the South Sudan govern- ment and Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition that resumed last week is threatening to escalate and derail the Addis Ababa peace negotiations expected to restart this week. Described by UNMISS as “major,” the fighting comes at a time when intensive efforts are underway by mediators of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) to get all parties to resume the peace talks, suspended in June after the parties failed to agree on the inclusion of former detainees and civil society in the negotiations. The latest fighting is head- ed towards the Greater Bahr el Ghazal, and rising tension threatens to drag in the relatively peaceful Equatoria States. The tension in Greater Bahr el Ghazal was heightened by defectors from Wau in western Bahr el Ghazal. The latest high-profile defector, Sixth Division commander General Dau Aturjong, is said to be recruiting in and around northern Bahr el Ghazal. Observers to the peace ne- gotiations now fear that further delays in restarting the Addis Ababa talks could see the resumption of war. “It is also worrying that the attacks were launched in total disregard of the Igad Cessation of Hostilities Monitoring and Verification team who were deployed in Nassir last month,” said the acting head of UNMISS, Raisedon Zenenga. “Igad needs to set a time for the resumption of talks The two parties create one excuse after another as they attempt to scuttle, narrow, or delay the process.” Seyoum Mesfin, chief mediator South Sudan peace talks and give the parties at least 10 days to show up in Addis,” the SubSahara Centre said in a statement. The Canadabased peace and security research organisation is one of the many international groups observing the Igadmediated peace talks. According to Igad, the de- lay in resumption of the talks was caused by the need to broadly consult the parties on progress and challenges, to chart the way forward, particularly in the implementation of the resolutions, “to end the war” and to establish a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU). Commitment to process “All the stakeholders have reiterated their commitment to the negotiation process, which is tentatively scheduled to commence on July 30. The agenda for the next session will be to finalise and sign the Cessation of Hostilities Matrix, and negotiation on details of the Transitional Government of National Unity,” said Igad in a statement. However the latest fight- ing, according to UNMISS, represents the most serious resumption of hostilities since President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar met in Addis Ababa on May 9 and recommitted to compliance with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement they had signed on January 23. Though both President Ki- ir’s and Dr Machar’s camps have said that they are ready to resume talks and blame the mediators for delaying conclusion of the peace talks, the mediators have expressed disappointment over the commitments of the two principals. “The two parties to the conflict create one excuse after another as they attempt to scuttle, narrow, or delay the process. Each leader appears to be riding two horses at the same time. These compelled the mediation to adjourn the meeting at the beginning of this week,” Seyoum Mesfin, chief mediator at the South Sudan peace talks, said in his statement to the UN Security Council on June 27.
July 21st 2014
Aug 4th 2014