23 May 2018

South Sudan Peace Talks Extended Amid Disagreement

Photo: Albert González Farran/IRIN
South Sudan soldiers

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.

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

Agreed

1. Cantonment of troops

2. Unification of all forces

3. Cessation of Hostilities

Unresolved

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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