Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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Is South Sudan Shifting its Peace Talks from Ethiopia?

South Sudanese Ambassador to Ethiopia James P. Morgan has dismissed reports claiming that his government want to change the venue of the peace revitalization process to another country.

Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth and the South Sudanese government chief negotiator Nhial Deng Nhial last week stated they want the IGAD mediated political process be relocated into another country pointing to the declaration of a state of emergency, in Ethiopia after the resignation of the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Speaking to the Ethiopian news agency Morgan strongly denied that his government had requested the IGAD to change the venue of the peace talks, adding that such reports are disseminated by those who “are not happy with the relationship of Ethiopia and South Sudan.”

“My government has responded to this rumour that we are ready to come to Addis Ababa and we have no any idea as to why the peace talk should be relocated?” The South Sudanese diplomat further said.

He stressed his government to reach a political settlement with the armed groups to end the armed conflict which displaced over 4 million South Sudanese since 2013, including 1.9 living in IDPs camps.

In a related development, the Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesperson Meles Alem disclosed that his government, which chairs the eastern African bloc, received a letter from Juba “assuring its continued desire for Ethiopia to host South Sudan peace talks,”

In a statement to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, Alem further said the letter “affirmed South Sudan’s government commitment to the ongoing peace talks”.

Last February, the mediation suspended the South Sudan peace revitalization process and said the talks would resume after a short recess as they had just to prepare a new paper based on the different positions expressed on the different matters discussed during the second round of talks from 5 to 16 February.