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South Sudan’s president attends peace talks at a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on June 21.
South Sudan’s president attends peace talks at a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on June 21.

South Sudan Peace Deal Attempt Fails

South Sudan Peace Deal Attempt Fails

The latest attempt at ending South Sudan’s five-year civil war failed Friday as President Salva Kiir rejected working again with rival Riek Machar after their first face-to-face meeting in almost two years.
“This is simply because we have had enough of him,” government spokesman Michael Makuei said, ABC News reported.
The rivals met this week in neighboring Ethiopia on its prime minister’s invitation, shaking hands and being coaxed into an awkward embrace as they held direct talks. They shook hands again as regional heads of state and government met to discuss the civil war in the world’s youngest nation.
But it became clear that while South Sudan’s government was open to having the opposition in the vice president’s role it would not accept Machar’s return to that post. Machar fled the country after new fighting erupted in the capital, Juba, in July 2016, ending a brief attempt at peace in which he returned to his role as Kiir’s deputy.
Opposition spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel told the Associated Press “there was nothing agreed upon in the talks” but that the face-to-face meeting with South Sudan’s president was useful “because we are able to see violence in Salva’s eyes.”
Gabriel also accused the East African regional bloc of favoring South Sudan’s government and putting its own interests ahead of “genuine peace”, adding, “This is completely disappointing.”
The bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, has led several rounds of failed peace talks.
Officials said the warring sides would meet again in Sudan and then in Kenya.
South Sudan’s civil war, which broke out just two years after the country won independence from Sudan, has continued despite multiple attempts at peace deals. Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have fled to create Africa’s largest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Millions of others still in the country are near famine, while the warring sides have been blamed for obstructing or slowing the delivery of desperately needed aid.

 

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