Next round of South Sudan peace talks due to start in Addis Ababa - The root causes of the bloody conflict in South Sudan will be the focus of the next round of talks between the country’s government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-In-Opposition) faction set to open here Monday, according to official mediators.
Following their visit to Nairobi, the special envoys of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said they met in the Kenyan capital with seven leaders of the faction and invited them to take part in the forthcoming peace talks.
Last week, the South Sudan government released seven detainees, who are accused together with four others still in detention of plotting to overthrow President Salva Kiir, a charge they have all denied.
Their release followed two deals signed on 23 Jan. 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Cessation of Hostilities and on the Detainees.
In a statement made available to PANA here, the IGAD mediators said the released detainees have expressed “their commitment to be part of the IGAD mediation process for political dialogue and national reconciliation in the Republic of South Sudan'.
According to the statement, the former detainees have confirmed that they would attend the talks.
Meanwhile, a 14-member advance team of the IGAD technical committee that has been in Juba since Sunday was Friday expected to report back to the IGAD mediators in Addis Ababa.
Led by retired Maj.-Gen. Gebregziabher Mebrahtu from Ethiopia and his deputy, Sudan’s Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Amin Moustafa Eltinay, the team went there to establish the monitoring and verification mechanism for implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
In addition, they had the task of assessing the situation and determining sites of monitoring before the deployment of military observers.
During their five-day stay in Juba, the South Sudan capital, leaders of the team were expected to meet President Kiir and other government officials; as well former Vice President Riek Machar to discuss the framework for the second round of talks.
Besides examining the root causes of the conflict, the forthcoming round of peace talks will also deal with issues related to democratic reform and transparency in South Sudan.