South Sudan rivals hold peace talks on deadline day

2015-08-17 11:38


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

Addis Ababa - South Sudan's warring rivals held peace talks Monday in a bid to broker a deal to end its civil war, hours ahead of deadline to avoid possible sanctions.

President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar met alongside regional presidents in Ethiopia, under intense diplomatic pressure to sign a deal by a Monday deadline, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said.

But Kiir, who arrived in Ethiopia late Sunday said he had been "compelled" to join the talks, warned it would not be possible to sign a lasting or full peace deal until all opposition factions could join the agreement.

"A peace that cannot be sustained cannot be signed," Kiir said on Sunday. "You should sign something that you will enjoy. If it is signed today and then tomorrow we go back to war, then what have we achieved?"

Kenyatta however was more optimistic, saying late Sunday that the talks were "on course to strike a deal".

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the 20-month civil war.

Effective deal

The rivals met late Sunday, with talks breaking in the early hours of Monday morning, which negotiations expected to continue later in the day.

Kiir initially said he would not attend talks, complaining it was not possible to strike an effective deal because rebel forces have split.

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

The latest round of talks opened on August 6, mediated 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.

As well as Kenyatta, regional leaders at the talks include host Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, as well as Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni - who has sent troops into South Sudan to back Kiir - and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

At least seven ceasefires have already been agreed and then broken within days, if not hours in Africa's newest country, which broke away from Sudan in 2011.

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
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.