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Enough Project calls on US to ‘participate directly’ in upcoming South Sudan’s peace talks

Washington, DC, March 14, 2015 (SSNA) -- The Enough Project has written an open letter to United Stated secretary of State John Kerry, urging him to fully participate directly in the upcoming IGAD-mediated peace negotiations.

The call comes ten days after peace talks between South Sudan’s warring factions collapsed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“The Enough Project stands with others in the NGO community who urge Secretary Kerry to participate directly in the IGAD Plus initiative’s mediation process.  Secretary Kerry’s personal involvement in past diplomatic efforts related to South Sudan have helped move the ball forward and have been well-received,” the statement reads in part.

The document suggests that intelligence gathering should focus mainly on tracing assets of people who have hands in the atrocities committed and those who stand in the way of peace.

“An intelligence gathering surge – focused on tracing the assets of those most responsible for mass atrocities and senior officials on both sides of South Sudan’s conflict who obstruct a peace deal – would support the full implementation of the sanctions called for in UN Security Council Resolution 2206,” it added.

The US-based agency which advocates for preventing of future crises and genocides also calls on South Sudan’s peace mediators who are currently drafting the document for next round of talks to add timetable for all foreign forces to leave the war-torn nation.The Enough Project further calls for the release of African Union Commission of Inquiry report.

“Beyond power and wealth sharing issues, which currently preoccupy the warring parties, the draft agreement being prepared by the mediators should also address a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country, punitive measures for the delivery of arms that stoke the conflict, and a timetable for the release of the AU Commission of Inquiry report accompanied by a commitment to establish a hybrid court to end impunity for human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed in the past fifteen months,”  the statement added.

Uganda along with several Sudanese rebel groups are fighting alongside South Sudanese government troops against rebel forces loyal to South Sudan's Former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar.

The rebels have on many occasions demanded the withdrawal of Ugandan soldiers, but Kampala refused asserting that Juba asked for its military help.

In the letter, the agency co-founder, John Prendergast, arguing that lack of direct participation of the US in the previous talks was not the right way to broker a peace deal between South Sudan’s rival sides.

Kiir, Machar given more time to negotiate a peace deal

Addis Ababa/New York, March 12, 2015 (SSNA) -- The African Union (AU) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have announced that South Sudan’s rivals have been given more time to reach a peaceful solution to the raging civil war in the young nation.

The decision by the international community to give South Sudanese factions more time was made public on Thursday by the Angola’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ismael Abraao Gaspar Martins.

Ismael said sometimes difficult problems require more time, arguing that more time is needed for South Sudan's rival leaders to come together.

“It takes time to resolve problems which are not simple,” Ismael said in the Addis Ababa.

“It also takes time to bring leaders together and create cohesion” he added.

Ismael, who is also reported to be Co-Chairman of the African Union Security Council (AUSC) meeting, did not say how much time has been given to Machar and Kiir to agree on a deal.

IGAD-mediated Peace talks collapsed early this month in Ethiopia after South Sudan’s warring sides failed to reach an agreement on power sharing, security arrangement, among others.

Juba calls for expulsion of Khartoum from future peace talks

Juba/Nairobi, March 11, 2015 (SSNA) -- The government of the South Sudan has called on IGAD to move future peace negotiations out of Ethiopia, claiming that the peace process in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa, have been sabotaged by countries unfriendly to Juba.

It is unclear as to why Juba wants Khartoum to be barred from any future involvement in peace talks.

However, South Sudan’s Deputy Ambassador to Kenya, James P. Morgan, claimed in an interview with Kenyan-based Nation Newspaper that South Sudanese rebels are being trained, armed, and controlled by Khartoum. The diplomat also calls for its expulsion from the East African regional bloc, IGAD.

“The next round of peace talks should be out of Ethiopia and Sudan should be excluded from being a mediator, since it controls, trains and arms the rebels,” James Morgan told the Nation Newspaper in Nairobi.

Reports leaked from Juba suggest that South Sudanese President Salva kiir is not happy with how Kenyan government treats South Sudan’s Former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar.

The Nation Newspaper further reported that Kiir bluntly told the East African Newspaper two weeks ago that Uhuru Kenyatta’s government “would mess up” the East African region if it does not stop accommodating South Sudanese rebel leader.

“We believe that President Kenyatta should not bring himself to support Riek Machar, but of course he has been accommodating the former detainees and Riek Machar receives goodwill when he goes to Nairobi,” Kiir reportedly told the newspaper.

Deputy Ambassador Morgan further asserted that Kenya is the right country to host South Sudan's peace talks becuase the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed there [Kenya].

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