Ethiopia: South Sudan foes make little progress on demilitarization talks

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - South Sudanese negotiators made little progress in talks about the possibility of creating a neutral security force to guard facilities in the capital, Juba, and other state capitals, a week to the deadline issued by US President Barack Obama for a lasting peace deal.

Talks on a draft peace agreement released by regional mediators resumed late last week in a rush to beat a 17 August deadline for a comprehensive ceasefire agreement to end the 20-month long crisis.

However, sources say the talks, still deadlocked on the proposed creation of a neutral force to take charge of security in Juba and other state capitals remain deadlocked with no consensus reached.

The East African mediators under the umbrella of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) announced recently that broad compromise was reached on the creation of an interim unity government whose main task would be to restore security and stability across the country.

US President Barack Obama reinforced the need for adherence to the 17 Aug. deadline for a peace agreement in South Sudan during a mini-Summit with East African leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 27 July, 2015.

The US is threatening to impose targeted sanctions against the President and the opposition if an agreement is not reached.

South Sudanese media reports indicated the government of President Salva Kiir is opposing the IGAD Compromise agreement proposals for a neutral force to take charge of security. The rebels have, however, welcomed the proposed neutral force to take over the security responsibilities.

The mediators want the Transitional Government of National Unity to reform the security sector, deal with issues of economic governance and reform, address justice, accountability and national reconciliation and finalize a permanent constitution before leading the country to elections.

The final round of the talks has been plagued by the absence of a key opposition figure, Lam Akol, who was recently stopped from traveling to Addis Ababa for the talks.

On Monday, South Sudanese minister, Martin Elia Lomoro, leading a seven-member delegation to the IGAD-PLUS led talks, was expelled from the talks until other opposition political party leaders are allowed to attend.

Lomoro is the Cabinet Affairs Minister in Kiir’s government and also the Chairman of the South Sudan Democratic Forum.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 10Aug2015

10 august 2015 16:28:02

xhtml CSS