Little progress in South Sudan peace talks - government

2015-08-13 15:27
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - South Sudan's rival forces have made little if any progress at talks on ending the country's civil war, the government has warned, despite intense international pressure for a deal ahead of an August 17 deadline.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in almost 20 months of war, which has been marked by widespread atrocities on both sides.

"There are some outstanding areas where, if we don't agree, we don't need to deceive ourselves and talk of peace," Minister of Information Michael Makuei told reporters late Wednesday, after a week of talks in Ethiopia.

South Sudan's civil war began in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that has split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.

Key issues of disagreement include a power-sharing proposal between the government and rebels, part of a peace plan put forward by the regional eight-nation bloc IGAD, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, as well as the United Nations, African Union, China and the "troika" of Britain, Norway and the United States.

Power sharing and security

On Tuesday, top rebel generals said they had split from Machar, and while the government said they had not received any official confirmation, Makuei warned it could complicate peace efforts.

"If what they have declared is true, and they have taken over the leadership of their movement, then definitely we will have to negotiate with whoever is in power," said Makuei, who is leading the government delegation at the talks.

Mediators, backed by US President Barack Obama during his recent visit to Ethiopia, have given Kiir and Machar until Monday to halt the civil war.

Diplomats say the rivals are under intense pressure to sign a deal, since failure to do so could lead to a range of punitive measures, including an arms embargo and targeted sanctions.

But they remain far apart on power sharing and security, including the proposed demilitarisation of the capital Juba, Makuei said.

Those issues would now be put before Kiir and Machar, who are expected to meet soon in Addis Ababa, he said, without giving a date for the meeting.

"Mediators are to make the necessary preparations for the principals to come and meet, and probably discuss and agree on these outstanding issues," he said.

Read more on:    riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.