New condition for reviving peace in South Sudan

South Sudanese opposition groups demand arms sale ban as prerequisite to cease-fire

New condition for reviving peace in South Sudan

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Sudanese opposition groups taking part in the ongoing negotiations with Salva Kiir’s government to revive an Aug. 2015 peace deal have called for a ban on the import of firearms.

The demand came amidst negotiations between South Sudan’s political stakeholders, including the government, that began on Dec. 18 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

A source privy to the content of the negotiations -- being held behind closed doors -- told Anadolu Agency that the opposition groups had tabled their demand for a ban on the import of arms that would bind all of the parties, including the government. They also asked this ban to be included as a clause in the Cessation of Hostilities agreement that they have been trying to hammer out.

“The delegation of the government of South Sudan, however, rejected the idea, saying it is the government’s prerogative to buy or not buy arms,” the source said.

According to the source, this has been one of the two thorny issues that came in the way of the negotiating parties reaching a cessation of hostilities deal, which is regarded as a prerequisite for reviving an earlier peace agreement.

The opposition groups are also demanding that a supervising body be set up to monitor and evaluate the cease-fire in line with the Aug. 2015 peace deal and that this body should not operate from Juba, but rather outside of it.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) initiated the new move to carry out what it describes as “a revitalization of the peace deal.”

It is expected that the negotiators will settle their differences and arrive at a workable cease-fire deal soon, the source added.

South Sudan has been mired in conflict between the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels led by Machar since December 2013.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands, displaced almost four million people from their homes, including over a million refugees who have fled to the neighboring countries.

International and regional leaders have called for an end to the conflict in the East African nation but several truces have been broken by both sides.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Aralık 2017, 01:15