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Tuesday, Oct 06th, 2015

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Peace Ambassador threatened after blaming warring factions for not resolving yearlong conflict

By Mekonen Tefere

Addis Ababa, March 6, 2015 (SSNA) -- In an interview today, March 6, 2015, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Peace Ambassador Gatwech Koak Nyuon said that he received more than sixty telephone calls from unknown numbers inside and outside Ethiopia in which five calls were seriously threatening to his life.

Nyuon started receiving threatening phone calls after he called on South Sudan's main rivals who are now engaging in peace negotiations in Addis Ababa to respect the 5th of March deadline which was originally set by IGAD.

Gatwech who was last year named as Peace Ambassador by Ethiopian Church admitted that he would never give-up to call for peace for his young nation.

“I know this happened many times to Mr. Deng Athuai, the Chairperson of South Sudan's Civil Society Alliance and I’m not surprise to receive more threatening calls from enemy [ies] of peace, why not billions of threatening calls,” Gatwech said.

In his personal statement published on paanluelwel and wangdunkon media blogs on March 4, 2015, Gatwech calls on both leaders to respect the deadline.

His statement partly read, “I’m not sure, but I believe neither Riek’s nor Kiir’s sons are fighting in front-line,” a statement he refers to slow pace of peace in South Sudan. 

South Sudan has also been known for its records on Human Rights abuse, restriction of Journalists, and Activists from freedom of movement and speech.

Gatwech appreciates the roles played by local and international media for publishing some positive reports toward nation building. He also urges the media houses to act responsively as gear of change and distance themselves from tribal politics.

“I know this is not happening to me alone, it’s happening to all Activists and Journalists all over the World. I will continue working with media to deliver message of peace. Those who hear will hear and those who always threatening will keep threatening but we will defeat them,” he added.

Peace Ambassador repeatedly urges the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan to release the report on atrocities committed by warring factions and appeal to South Sudan’s leaders to put the nation’s interest above their owns. Gatwech further reveals that he is very disappointed to see women and children suffering.

South Sudan’s Warring Factions Disagree on a Deal, Peace Talks Suspended

Addis Ababa, March 6, 2015 (SSNA) -- Rival factions of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party have failed to reach a peace deal after many days of intense negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

In a statement released on Friday, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, disclosed that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar have failed to seal a deal that could bring the much-needed peace to the war-torn young nation.

“The talks did not produce the necessary breakthrough,” Desalegn said in the statement.

The Ethiopian leader has also expressed his disappointment over South Sudan main rivals’ inability to find a peaceful solution to the raging civil war.

“The consequences of inaction are the continued suffering of you, the people of South Sudan, and the prolonging of a senseless war in your country. This is unacceptable, both morally and politically,” he added.

Desalegn hopes that peace negotiations between South Sudanese rivals will resume in the near future.

Meanwhile, an African Union (AU) diplomatic source who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media revealed to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) that South Sudan’s peace talks have basically been suspended and that the only thing that is not known to the public at the moment is IGAD public admission of its failure.

"There are simply enormous problems between both sides. I don’t think the two leaders of South Sudan [Kiir and Machar] will sign any agreement that IGAD and the international community would want them to sign. They seem to be looking for a deal that fit their own interests," the source said.

“I can tell you that IGAD has already suspended the negotiations and asked the African Union (AU) to either intervene or come up with an idea,” he revealed.

Fighting broke out in Mid-December 2013 between different units of presidential guards after months of political chaos among senior leaders of the SPLM.

President Kiir has accused Dr. Machar of planning a coup. Machar denied the accusation and said the coup allegation is deliberate act by Kiir in an attempt to try to purge his political rivals.

At least two million South Sudanese have fled their homes and tens of thousands of people have been killed.

US slams South Sudan’s rivals, calls for inclusive deal

Washington, DC, March 3, 2015 (SSNA) -- The United States Secretary of State John Kerry has criticized South Sudan’s warring sides for what he described as leadership failure.

Kerry, who is reported to be in favor of UN corrective measures against South Sudan also called on South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar to secure an immediate and inclusive accord to end the war.

In a public statement, Kerry accused President Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Machar of failing to make necessary concessions to stop the ongoing civil war.

“Both President Kiir and Riek Machar have promised time and again that they would negotiate a transitional government under the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) process, but have failed to make the compromises needed,” Kerry said in a statement published on U.S. State Department website.

“The parties have until March 5 to secure an agreement that is inclusive, that initiates a broad range of transitional reforms and that ensures those responsible for human rights abuses are held to account,” he added.

The US top diplomat also said South Sudan’s government failed to protect and serve its citizens.

“Legitimacy is not a presumed right of any government. It is conferred by the people, and it is sustained only by demonstrating leadership to protect and serve all citizens—responsibilities the government has neglected,” Kerry said.

Secretary Kerry further disclosed that the United States and the international community will take action to punish those who are not willing to make “difficult decisions” for the sake of peace.

The United States spearheaded an international campaign which forced leaders of South and North Sudan to sign the Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and secured South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in 2011.

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