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EU expresses frustration over lack of progress in South Sudan peace talks

The European Union (EU) expressed its frustrations over “lack of progress” in South Sudan peaces process. In a statement released yesterday, the EU said: “Despite considerable efforts by the IGAD mediation and the apparently successful outcome of the Arusha talks between SPLM factions, the agreement signed in Addis Ababa on 2 February between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar has made little significant progress towards a comprehensive peace agreement in South Sudan.”

The conflict that broke out over a year ago has been a disaster for the people of South Sudan and has put at risk the stability of the entire region, the EU said, adding, leaders of all groups and parties should go beyond short-term interests and build on the initial talks to make the necessary compromises for peace, for the benefit of all the people of South Sudan.

The EU also stressed that it was essential the current negotiations were completed “no later than 5 March.” It says EU supports the IGAD-led process and encourages a closer involvement of the international community. In particular, “it supports repeated IGAD and AU warnings that if the two sides continue to violate the ceasefire mechanism or fail to finalize a political agreement, appropriate sanctions” will need to be adopted by the international community.

On the recent publication of the Commission of Inquiry’s findings, led by former Nigeria’s president Olusegun Obasanjo and its recommendations on accountability “are necessary to ensure that such violence against civilians cannot be undertaken with impunity.” The people of South Sudan and in particular the victims deserve no less and it will in the long run enable greater accountability and give rise to more robust political stability.

This week, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned that neighboring state’s competing interests in the ongoing war in South Sudan may lead to a catastrophic regional war in Africa’s youngest nation.

“The regional organizations that seek to mediate have been unsuccessful, in part because members have competing interests, while outside powers do not invest sufficiently in conflict resolution,” a statement from ICG said.
South Sudan’s civil war that began on 15 December 2013 has already claimed the lives of tens of thousands civilians and have displaced more than two million.

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