S. Sudan envoys leave to Addis Ababa for peace talks

The talks are expected to build up on a "breakthrough" cited at the end of a summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development

S. Sudan envoys leave to Addis Ababa for peace talks

World Bulletin/News Desk

South Sudan's government negotiators left on Sunday to Addis Ababa for a fresh round of the peace talks with rebels loyal to sacked vice-president Riek Machar.

“The delegation is going with an open heart and full mandate from the president [Salva Kiir] to go and discuss the outstanding issues such as security and economic,” Information Minister Michael Makuei, who heads the delegation, told reporters at Juba airport before departure.

The talks are expected to build up on a "breakthrough" cited at the end of a summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which has been mediating the talks for months, in Juba last week.

The East African trade bloc is expected to hold another summit in Addis Ababa on Tuesday to capitalize on the breakthrough achieved at the Juba talks.

“Some outstanding issues which the two parties agreed before such as power-sharing, structure of transitional government and division of powers between the president and prime minister are left to IGAD head of states summit to resolve them,” Makuei added.

“However, the government delegation has full commitment to reach a peaceful outcome of the negotiation,” he added.

Delegations of faith-based groups and civil society alliances, including the women bloc (a consortium of South Sudan women organizations), also accompanied the government negotiators.

Representatives from the country's political parties, however, have not accompanied the negotiators. According to Lam Akol, the leader of the political parties' delegation, they were not yet permitted to go after they were stopped at the airport before travelling to join the latest round of talks.

“As I have been saying, the government has stopped us from going and so we are not going,” Akol told Anadolu Agency on phone in Juba.

Asked what their stand now is, he answered: “Peace talk needs a collective participation by all South Sudanese and if we are to reach a comprehensive peace, then we all have to decide.”

South Sudan, which became the world's newest nation in 2011 after seceding from Sudan, descended into chaos and bloodshed late last year following an alleged coup attempt against Kiir by Machar.

Thousands of South Sudanese have since lost their lives in the conflict, while more than 1.7 million have been displaced.

In recent months, the warring camps have held on-again, off-again peace talks in Addis Ababa sponsored by IGAD, an East African regional block based in Djibouti.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ekim 2014, 17:22