No major break though in Addis Ababa peace talks: official
May 18th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s peace process which resumed on Thursday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa are yet to produce a major breakthrough as the round of talks is being conducted in thematic committees, high-ranking official in venue of the talks told the Nyamilepedia on Saturday.
Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, a member of the armed opposition group SPLM-IO under the leadership of South Sudan’s former first vice president Riek Machar Teny, and a member of the group’s delegates to the peace talks in Addis Ababa, told the Nyamilepedia on Saturday that the peace talks is conducted by three committees agreed upon by the negotiating team pointing out that each committee discuss matters of its interests and jurisdictions.
“All three committees met, yet there is no breakthrough except on article 2.4 of Chapter II. it has been agreed that the time frame is is 90 days,” he told the Nyamilepedia on Saturday without elaborating.
The senior opposition official said the leadership committee, the governance committee and the security committee discussed matters of their interests and jurisdictions.
“All three committees met. The leadership committee discussed mechanisms of confidence building, the sub committee on governance discussed issues on governance and the sub committee on security also discussed article 2 and article 3 of Chapter II” he said adding that “deliberation continue on the subjects today.”
South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after forces loyal to the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his then Governor of Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State Gen. Paul Malong Awan went door-to-door in the capital Juba killing civilians belonging to the Nuer ethnic group sparking a nation-wide protests from top army generals from the Nuer leading to a civil war.
A peace agreement signed in August 2015 by President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and negotiated under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) in presence of Troika and other international observers collapsed in July 2016 following fighting at the presidential palace in Juba “J1” reportedly after President Kiir ordered a failed attempt to arrest the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar.
Late last year, the IGAD decided to revive the peace agreement and had initiated a peace revival mechanism known as the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) to bring back to life the 2015 peace agreement. Peace talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa resumed on Thursday with little optimism as President Kiir said he is unwilling to accept the return of the country’s former first vice president and two armies both of whom are major opposition demands.
The IGAD has given the negotiating parties May 21st as the ultimatum to sign peace but it is still unclear what would be the consequences in case the warring parties do not meet the dateline.