South Sudan peace talks fail to secure deal

South Sudan peace talks fail to secure deal

HomeAfricaSudan Fri Mar 6, 2015 2:44PM

Mediators say negotiations in Ethiopia between representatives of South Sudan’s warring parties aimed at putting an end to the civil war that has been going on in the country for 15 months have been suspended without a deal.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said in a statement on Friday that Sudan Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar missed March 5 deadline to reach a peace agreement, and extension of the negotiations into the following day “did not produce the necessary breakthrough.”

A regional bloc overseeing the talks, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), had brought together South Sudanese government and rebel delegations in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa to convince the two sides to settle issues, among them power sharing. No date has been set for the next meeting between the warring sides.

“This is unacceptable, both morally and politically,” Desalegn said, adding, “Continuing a war flagrantly disregards the interests of you, the people. It is an abdication of the most sacred duty leaders have to you, their people: to deliver peace, prosperity and stability.”

The Ethiopian leader said, “I asked them to be courageous in offering compromises and alternatives, rather than only reiterating old positions. Both regional and world leaders joined this call. Unfortunately, as the missed deadline shows, our pleas have not been heeded.”

He added, “Peace process must be reinvigorated and reformed” promising that the bloc, along with other African nations and global powers, would “implement a common plan and table a reasonable and comprehensive solution to end the crisis in South Sudan,” he added.

“We will assist the parties to make the compromises that have so far eluded them. We will use all influence at our disposal to convince those that remain intransigent,” Desalegn noted.

South Sudan plunged into chaos in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy, Riek Machar, around the capital, Juba. The clashes left tens of thousands of people dead and forced almost two million people from their homes.

South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 after its people overwhelmingly voted in a referendum for a split from Sudan.

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