South Sudan Warring Factions Reach Breakthrough In Talks

Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, chief mediator for the IGAD-mediated South Sudan peace talks, said in Juba on Wednesday (October 22) that “a breakthrough has been achieved on the outstanding issues”.

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He gave no further details but added that these would be finalized next week at the forthcoming IGAD summit.

Ambassador Seyoum was flanked by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda as he talked to reporters.

The leaders had been at a meeting hosted by President Salva Kiir.

This followed a meeting earlier in the week in Arusha, Tanzania, where different groups of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement had signed a roadmap agreement under the auspices of the Tanzanian ruling party, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

The document signed on Monday (October 20) was witnessed by both President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, former vice president and leader of the SPLM-in-Opposition.

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President Jakaya Kikwete who chairs Chama Cha Mapinduzi facilitated the intra-SPLM dialogue and witnessed the signing by the SPLM in government, SPLM in opposition and SPLM of former detainees.

The document is expected to provide a guide for further negotiations in an attempt to reunite the bitterly divided SPLM movement.

It recommits the parties to the principles of democracy, internal democracy especially on matters of decision making, elections, succession and peaceful transfer of power.

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It also calls for the “unity of SPLM as a safeguard against fragmentation of the country along ethnic and regional fault lines, ” and recognized the need to “revitalize, reorganize, strengthen and restore the SPLM to its vision, principles, political direction and core values and initiate measures to stop the war, lead the government and the people of South Sudan towards peace, stability and prosperity.”

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