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Gov’t says not ready to negotiate with preconditions attached to talks

Author : Nichola Mandil | Published: Monday, January 6, 2014

The Government of South Sudan has said it is not ready to negotiate with preconditions attached to the talks in Addis Ababa.

The Government of South Sudan’s Minister of Information and Spokesperson for its delegation to the South Sudan talks, Michael Makuei, told a news conference in Addis Ababa on Sunday that the government is committed to participate in the peace talks without preconditions and will not release prisoners who are accused of crimes for the sake of talks.

“It was very clear that we are in for talks without preconditions. Our president has been very clear from the 16th, from day one, that we are ready for talks without conditions.

“And the IGAD community supported that and now we are told to release these people so that we create a conducive atmosphere for the peace talks.

“This is a condition being attached to the talks. We are not ready to negotiate on preconditions,” Mr Makuei said.

Mr. Makuei said the international community had  what he described as “double standards” for, he said, putting “undue pressure” on South Sudan’s President to release the prisoners without proper investigation and without giving due respect to the laws of the land and the Constitution.

“This is the issue of an attempted coup. This is a capital offense. This is a case of treason and we are expected as the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to investigate within two three days so that the president can use his powers. But if we are not lay persons, there is no way we can investigate such act with massive crimes committed by a group of people within two three days and then we say: Release them. This is out of the question. And this is why I say the international community has not been realistic,” he said.

Mr Makuei said that direct talks will start in earnest on Sunday and that if the two parties agree on a cessation of hostilities, talks on a monitored ceasefire will follow.

 

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