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Ethiopia denies suspension of S. Sudan talks

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The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry dismissed as false media reports saying that talks hosted by Addis Ababa between warring parties in South Sudan have been suspended.

World Bulletin/News Desk

guney-sudan-kiirThe Ethiopian Foreign Ministry dismissed as false media reports saying that talks hosted by Addis Ababa between warring parties in South Sudan have been suspended.

“The proxy talks have gone on well and the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has now been engaged in working out the modus operandi of the face-to-face talks expected to take place any time now,” spokesperson Dina Mufti told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

Diplomatic sources told AA earlier that the IGAD, which is leading mediation efforts between the rival factions in South Sudan, are pushing towards a ceasefire, access to humanitarian operations and the release of detainees arrested on the background of the conflict.

Delegates representing President Salva Kiir and sacked vice president Reik Machar are in the Ethiopian capital for talks that aimed to end weeks of conflict in the young nation.

Over the past three days, IGAD has been meeting the delegates separately on what has been dubbed “proxy talks.”

Face-to-face talks are expected to start for the first time later Saturday.

IGAD has already formed a new three-person committee to lead the negotiations.

The sources said that Machar’s representatives had earlier objected to the presence of representatives from Sudan and Uganda in the IGAD mediation team, describing them as biased towards Kiir.

The objection forced IGAD to form a new mediation team made up of Somali Foreign Minister Fawsiya Yusuf Aden, Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohammed and Ethiopia’s ambassador to China Seyoum Mesfin.

Fighting erupted in Juba in mid-December between army units loyal to Machar and other units loyal to Kiir.

Shortly later, the fighting seeped into other states, claiming the lives of hundreds of people and displacing tens of thousands.

 

Source: World Bulletin/News Desk

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