Rights Agency Welcomes the Resumption of Peace Talks, Calls on the Government to Respect the Rights of Other Parties

Washington, DC, October 2, 2014 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s rights group, the Alliance for South Sudanese in the Diaspora (ASSD) has welcomed the resumption of peace negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

In a press statement extended to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), the ASSD welcomes the continuation of peace talks and urges all parties to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

“The Alliance for South Sudanese in the Diaspora (ASSD) warmly welcomes the resumption of the peace talks taking place in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia by the two warring parties the Government of South Sudan and the SPLM-in Opposition”, the statement reads in part.

The agency criticizes South Sudanese government practices in the peace process, saying Juba’s actions are adversative and calls on the International Community to put more pressure on Juba so that it commits itself to peace.

“The Government of South Sudan continues to harass and prevent representatives of some political parties to travel to Addis Ababa as recognized stakeholders in the peace negotiations. ASSD calls on the International Community that the conduct and behavior of the Government of South Sudan is antithetical to a genuine search and attainment of a comprehensive sustainable peace in South Sudan”, the statement added.

The US-based rights body, ASSD, which promotes and advocates for peace, freedom, democracy, human rights, good governance and development in South Sudan blasted IGAD’s August 25th Protocol on Agreed Principles, branding it as ‘careless protocol’. The agency also wonders as to why IGAD failed to address the root causes of the ongoing crisis.

“We strongly object to the “agreed” principles on transitional governance which maintains the status quo and creates a weak position of the Prime Minister for the SPLM-IO. This carelessly drafted protocol does not address the fundamental issues and root causes that ignited this crisis. Moreover it has emboldened President Kiir’s government to continue to impede the peace process”, the statement further added.

The ASSD further stated said that South Sudanese government has been execution numerous illegal practices which it believes are detrimental to peace and provided a list of the claims.

“On June 5th, 2014, the government prevented the Chairman of the United Democratic Front (UDF), Mr. Peter Abdelrahaman Sule and others from boarding a plane to Addis Ababa to participate in the peace negotiations, on August 2, 2014, there was an attempt in Juba to assassinate the Chairman of South Sudan Civil Society, Mr. Deng Athuai Mawiir who is an active participant in the peace negotiations in Ethiopia, and on September 13, 2014, the Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin was prevented by the migration officials on orders from President Kiir’s government from travelling to Addis Ababa to take part in the peace talks”, the statement added.

Peace talks have resumed after preceding attempts to try to find a peaceful solution to the conflict have repeatedly failed. Negotiations between the warring factions have been ongoing with little or no achievement.

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