South Sudan rivals deadlocked over hostilities
From RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – THE failure by the warring parties to reach an agreement on a cessation of hostilities during the last round of negotiations has stalled efforts to rediscover peace in South Sudan.
The rivals are deadlocked in Darfur and the Two Areas, consisting of Blue Nile and South Kordofan States.
The setback is likely to renew the deadly tensions in the country despite dialogue reached in recent weeks suggesting the country was on course to retain elusive peace.
Government and rebel forces have recently clashed in the southern region.
In the capital Juba, clashes between President Salva Kiir’s army and former vice president, Riek Machar’s rebel forces on July 8 left hundreds dead thus jeaopardising the country’s peace deal signed last year.
United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon expressed disappointment the Sudanese parties failed to reach an agreement on a cessation of hostilities during the just-ended negotiations.
He urged all the parties to resume negotiations, abide by the Roadmap Agreement, and refrain from any attempt to escalate the conflict in Darfur and the Two Areas.
“There can be no lasting alternative to a negotiated settlement. A cessation of hostilities is the first, indispensable step towards achieving this goal,” the UN chief said.
It has been reported Machar has fled the country and sought exile in an unnamed East African country.
Last month, Machar was removed as South Sudan’s first vice president after a disputed change of leadership in his party.
– CAJ News
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