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South Sudan Watch Update 63

Cautious progress in South Sudan peace talks

Finally face -to -face talks between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar under the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) happened though it yielded little progress.

The first of such meetings took place in Addis Ababa on June 20 that marked the first time that the two had met face to face in two years and allowed Machar to propose a new model for the talks.[1]

A second round of the talks began in Khartoum on 25 June under President Omar al Bashir of Sudan supported by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The session discussed power sharing, with both sides described themselves as willing to compromise.[2] The meeting produced a declaration of agreement, which recommits the parties to a ceasefire and to expeditiously agreeing a bridging agreement to create a transitional government.[3] Although not mentioned in the text of the agreement, Uganda’s Daily Monitor reported that the parties agreed to have three capital cities in South Sudan including Juba, Wau hosting three vice presidents and to allow the government of Sudan to secure oil fields in cooperation with the South Sudan government.[4]

Another round of revitalization forum talks is scheduled for 29 June to 10 July 2018. Civil society organizations and representatives from the various political parties from South Sudan have been invited.[5]

Fighting as peace talks begin

Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the deputy spokesperson of the SPLA-IO, reported that SPLA-IO forces were attacked near Wau on 25 June, as talks began in Khartoum. Col. Lam said that the rebels were able to capture military equipment from government forces and called on the ceasefire monitoring commission (CTSAMM) and UN to investigate the attack.[6]

In a separate incident, a Bangladeshi peacekeeper, Lieutenant Commander Ashraf Siddiqui, was killed when his convoy escorting humanitarian workers to the town of Lasu was shot at by unknown gunmen. UNMISS confirmed that the convoy was shot at several times and returned fire. Both the government and rebel forces were in the area when this happened.[7]

[1] “Machar proposes change of tack in mediation talks,” The East African, 21 June 2018, available at http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/South-Sudan-mediation-Machar-Kiir-talks-outcomes/4552908-4624386-rxjl3i/index.html

[2] “South Sudan President Promises to End Suffering at Khartoum Talks,” VOA, 25 June 2018, available at https://www.voanews.com/a/south-sudan-president-promises-to-end-suffering-at-khartoum-talks/4454687.html

[3] Khartoum Declaration of Agreement, available at http://www.sudantribune.com/IMG/pdf/20180627_khartoum_declaration_of_agreement.pdf

[4] “South Sudan foes strike peace deal after Museveni visit,” Daily Monitor, 26 June 2018, available at http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/South-Sudan-foes-strike-peace-deal/688334-4632382-14mbw4rz/index.html

[5] “IGAD invites South Sudan party representatives to attend talks in Khartoum,” 25 June 2018, Radio Tamazuj, available at https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/gad-invites-south-sudan-party-representatives-to-attend-talks-in-khartoum

[6] “Fighting break out near Wau as rival leaders meets in Khartoum,” 25 June 2018 Nyamilepedia, available at http://nyamile.com/2018/06/25/breaking-fighting-break-out-near-wau-as-rival-leaders-meets-in-khartoum/

[7] “Bangladeshi peacekeeper killed in South Sudan attack,” 26 June 2018, Reuters, available at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-southsudan-peacekeepers/bangladeshi-peacekeeper-killed-in-attack-in-south-sudan-idUKKBN1JM1ML?rpc=401&

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