IGAD has just revealed that the 7 released detainees, now in Kenya, will automatically take part in the dialogue as demanded by the rebels who have boycotted today’s peace talks.
In this photo released by the Kenya Presidency, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, center, receives seven of the 11 leaders accused of plotting a failed military coup in South Sudan in December on 29 January 2014 (AP)
February 10, 2014 [Addis Ababa] — The 7 released detainees; Deng Alor Kuol, Gen. Gier Chuang Along, Kosti Manibe (finance), Cirino Hiteng, Madut Biar Yel, Peter Adwok Nyaba, and John Luk Jok, were today prevented from flying to Ethiopia by the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta citing limitations pressed onto them by the bail conditions.
The head for the rebels’ delegation, Gen Taban Deng Gai, spearheaded the boycott citing failure by IGAD and the government of President Salva Kiir to respect their demands like withdraw of UPDF, respect for cessation of hostilities, release of the four remaining detainees and allowing the 7 already released to take part in the political dialogue.
Addressing the press in Addis Ababa this evening, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, Chairperson of the IGAD Special Envoys for South Sudan, said that the envoys met with the 7 former detainees who condemned the conflict in their country and stated that they want to be part of the peace dialogue.
He also mentioned that “both parties want the former detainees to contribute to the mediation process”.
“This is a political crisis and cannot be solved by fighting and this is what both parties have reaffirmed to the envoys while they were visiting them in South Sudan.,” said Mesfin at Sheraton Hotel Addis Ababa.
“We commend the Republic of South Sudan for releasing the 7 detainees and call on them to expedite the status of the remaining ones.”
“The 7 detainees are expected to arrive in Addis either today or latest tomorrow morning,” Amb. Mesfin clarified.
“We also met with 14 political parties in Juba and they want to fully participate in the negotiations. We are hoping they will accept the call.”
“We met with the youth, women, religious leaders, traditional leaders and they are all calling for national reconciliation.”
” Mesfin also cited that “with regards to the press release, it does not reflect the current reality we have with SPLM/A (in opposition)”.
“People of South Sudan have had their share of war and crisis for many years. Both parties need to put their guns down.” He acknowledged that “Governments of IGAD are being dictated by their collective will and common interests.”