South Sudan peace talks extended amid disagreement

Wednesday May 23 2018
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President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar

KAMPALA- After five days of closed-door South Sudan peace talks, the warring parties on Monday agreed on only three issues out of over 11 demands raised by the opposition in Addis Ababa.
The Information government minister Michael Makuei told the media in Addis Ababa that the warring parties had agreed on cantonment of troops near Juba, unifying all the forces into one army and cessation of hostilities.

Mr Makuei, however, said they had disagreed on the timelines when the different fighting groups should be integrated into one national army.


South Sudan group asks ICC to indict President Kiir, Riek Machar

Sunday May 13 2018

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JUBA. A lobby group wants the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and main rebel leader Riek Machar for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The South Sudan Equatorial Community in Diaspora said the two leaders have been incriminated in various reports for gross human rights violations, war crimes, displacement of the populations and destruction of livelihoods.
Group leader Federico Vuni said Upper Nile and Equatorial regions were the worst-affected by the war between the factions loyal to the two protagonists.

“There are already reports incriminating them and they should be indicted for the crimes committed in the ongoing conflict,” Mr Vuni said.
He added that the two leaders' respective deputies, Mr Taban Deng Gai and Mr James Wanni Igga, should equally be charged with similar crimes.
“All the four bear the responsibility for the crimes committed in South Sudan and deserve to face the international court. If we want a just peace, then they must account for the heinous crimes they have committed,” he added.

Mr Vuni also asked the international community to join efforts and unseat all the four leaders.
“They are the obstacles to peace. They have led the country since 2005 but have only achieved destruction to lives, the economy and social fabric. They must be sent home,” he noted.
South Sudan attained independence from Sudan in 2011 but descended into a civil war two years later.

The war erupted following a power wrangle between President Kiir and his former deputy Dr Machar.
The war has caused one of the largest humanitarian crises in the continent, according to the UN.
About two million South Sudanese have become refugees in neighbouring countries.
The International Crisis Group estimates that more than 100,000 lives have been lost in the young nation from from 2013 to 2015 alone.

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The five-day talks were mediated by South Sudan religious leaders after, in February 2018, faith-based groups requested the Intergovernmental Authority on Development [IGAD] that has been leading the talks to give South Sudanese an opportunity to discuss these issues among themselves.
On May 17, the IGAD mediation after officially launching the session, asked the faith-based groups to facilitate the discussions, while IGAD maintained an observer status in the sessions facilitated by the faith-based groups.

Ms Angelina Teny, the deputy head of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement –In Opposition delegation and the wife of the opposition Riek Machar said without proper security transitional arrangement, violence will resume if the opposition returns to Juba. The opposition has been accusing the Juba government of turning the army into “a tribal force”.
The SPLM-IO representative in Uganda, Mr Ambrose Lomin Pitia told Daily Monitor on Tuesday that they were waiting for Intergovernmental Authority on Development to announce a proposed plan for compromise all the warring parties.
There was no headway on power sharing and the structure of government which has been a sticky issue since the talks resumed this year.

Opposition demands
1. Cantonment of troops
2. Unification of all forces
3. Cessation of Hostilities
1. Release of Riek Machar from “incarceration” in South Africa
2. Release of all Prisoners of War
3. Release of Political detainees
4. An all-inclusive Army
5. Federal system of governance
6. States and Counties take 70 percent of the national budget
7. Reduction of both Parliament and Cabinet
President Kiir resignation in preparation for transition.


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