AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - New round of peace talks in South Sudan

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - The second round of peace talks started yesterday, 11 February, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, between the two rival factions of the SPLM (Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the ruling party ), lead respectively by President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, who have sunk South Sudan into the most serious crisis since its independence.
At the opening of the talks, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, launched an appeal to the South Sudanese leaders to commit themselves effectively to reaching an agreement before South Sudan becomes the center of a regional conflict, with the involvement of other States in the area. Previously, the Ethiopian Premier, who is President of IGAD, had criticized the military intervention in Uganda alongside government troops against the rebels of Machar.
The representative of the South Sudan Council of Churches (the organization that brings together the major Christian denominations in the Country) stressed the urgency of finding a solution to the conflict: "We are tired of war", he said. South Sudan became independent in 2011, after a long process at the end of a twenty-year conflict with the government of Khartoum. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/02/2014)