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Posted on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 10:31

South Sudan peace talks resume as fighting rages on

By Beyene Geda

fighting in the oil-rich country, which began last December after President Salva Kiir (R) sacked his then Vice President Riek Machar (L). File photo©ReutersSouth Sudan peace talks, aimed at ending that country's nine month long conflict, have resumed in Bahir Dar City in Ethiopia, the East African regional bloc, Inter Governmental Authority of Development (IGAD), said on Monday.

The fighting in the oil-rich country, which began last December after President Salva Kiir sacked his then Vice President Riek Machar, has continued to rage between rebels and government soldiers, albeit sporadically.

...sideshows aimed at derailing the peace process will not be tolerated

IGAD's statement on Monday said the delegates will discuss transitional governance arrangements and parameters of a permanent constitution, among others.

Transitional security arrangements, resource, economic and financial management, and transitional justice, reconciliation and healing are also some of the issues the delegates are to negotiate, says the statement.

Prior to the restart of the peace talks, IGAD special envoys condemned the ongoing fighting between the two warring parties taking place in Renk County and in the area south of Malakal town in Upper Nile State.

The mediators have described the fighting "as an unnecessary and destructive action aimed to derail the sixth session in the second phase of the peace talks".

"It is unfortunate that this trend of events has been observed every time a new session of talks begins and any such sideshows aimed at derailing the peace process will not be tolerated," IGAD special envoy, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin said, recalling that similar acts that have been committed in the past.

Meanwhile, mediators say participants have accepted the First Draft of the "Text Arising from the 25 August Protocol and Stakeholders' Positions" as a basis for the negotiations which started on Monday.

The mediators have so far engaged and consulted with the delegates to build consensus on the way forward for the peace process since reconvening on 13 September 2014.

IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government endorsed the Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements towards Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan in Addis Ababa on 25 August 2014.



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