World Bulletin/News Desk
Consultations being held within the ranks of South Sudan's rebel group have caused the delay of the resumption of Addis Ababa-hosted peace talks, which were supposed to reconvene on Friday, a source with the mediating team said Sunday.
“The deadline could not be met as [rebel group] Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) could not conclude its consultations in time,” a source close to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating the peace process, told The Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
"They had logistic difficulty moving around constituencies in the three states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity to bring together community representatives for the consultations," the source said.
"The government delegation has already concluded its consultations and is ready for the resumption of talks," he said. "I hope the opposition will conclude consultations…and the meeting will reconvene very soon."
According to the source, the opposition had to hold its consultations in Pagak, an entry point on the border with Ethiopia.
South Sudan's government and the rebel group led by former vice president Riek Machar signed a detailed timetable to implement a cessation-of-hostilities agreement and an implementation matrix during an IGAD summit held in Addis Ababa earlier this month.
During the meeting, the IGAD agreed to give the two rivals 15 days to hold consultations within respective ranks to sign a comprehensive peace agreement, and detailed the kind of sanctions that any "guilty" party would face for failure to implement the agreement.
Sanctions included asset freezes, travel bans in the region, and ban on supply of arms and munitions as well as any materials that can be used for war.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused Machar of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.
Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in fighting between the two rivals, which has led to an increasingly dire humanitarian situation.
In recent months, the warring camps have held on-again, off-again peace talks in Addis Ababa under the auspices of IGAD, a regional bloc based in Djibouti. Yet, the talks are yet to yield a solution to the crisis.
Last Mod: 30 Kasım 2014, 14:17