'Progress' in South Sudan ceasefire talks

2014-01-09 07:30
South Sudan army (SPLA) soldiers. (Samir Bol, AFP)

South Sudan army (SPLA) soldiers. (Samir Bol, AFP)

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

Washington - Mediators seeking to end fierce fighting in South Sudan have made "progress" in negotiating a ceasefire, a US official said on Wednesday, adding differences still remained over releasing political prisoners.

Representatives from an East African bloc, known as IGAD, had on Wednesday travelled to Juba to visit 11 allies of sacked vice president Riek Machar who have been detained by South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

The negotiators and western diplomats, led by the United States, have been pressuring Kiir's government to free the men to boost the peace talks being held in Ethiopia.

"We believe that they need to be present at the IGAD talks for discussions on political issues in order for them to be productive," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

The mediators had also spoken with Kiir and presented the parties with "a draft proposal on a cessation of hostilities and on the release of political detainees".

"The discussions have made progress on a proposed cessation of hostilities," Psaki told reporters.

"Disagreements remain on the issue of the release of political detainees. Obviously, the discussions are continuing, but that's where things stand at this moment."

The unrest erupted on 15 December as a clash between rival army units loyal to Kiir and Machar, and has escalated into war between government troops and a loose alliance of ethnic militia forces and mutinous army commanders.

Agreement on cessation of hostilities

Thousands of people have already been killed, aid workers say, while more than 200 000 have fled their homes.

A rebel spokesperson indicated that there would be no imminent truce in the country unless the government freed the group of alleged coup plotters.

But IGAD said on a statement on returning to Juba that the prisoners had urged that any ceasefire should not be held up by arguments over their release.

They "stated that their status as detainees should not be an impediment to reaching an agreement on cessation of hostilities", IGAD said.

Washington, which was the prime backer of South Sudan's 2011 independence from Sudan, has also called for the fighting to stop.

"We do not believe the release of detainees should be a precondition for a halt to the fighting. Both sides need to drop preconditions for the talks and agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities," spokesman for the Africa bureau Will Stevens told AFP.

Read more on:    igad  |  salva kiir  |  us  |  south sudan  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.