The International Community and stakeholders to the peace talks in Addis Ababa have called on the warring parties to accept the proposed compromise agreement.
The parties started negotiations on the proposal today. Mediators under IGAD Plus first held a close-door meeting yesterday before officially opening the talks.
The meeting was to discuss the responses of the warring parties to the agreement. The government delegation has criticized some provisions of the proposed agreement.
“What we are not definitely prepared for was IGAD’s abrupt and ill-conceived decision that control of the three states of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile be handed over to the SPLM in Opposition on a silver platter,” said Nhial Deng Nhial, chief negotiator.
For his part, the chief negotiator of the SPLM in Opposition, Taban Deng Gai, said the government became illegitimate in July.
However, members of the international community and faith-based groups say the parties should narrow their differences and make peace.
“It is unacceptable that people continue to kill and be killed while leaders argue over power, positions and percentages,” argued Bishop Enock Tombe, leader of the religious groups.
“We are calling for an immediate ceasefire and ask the IGAD-Plus to put down a mechanism of protecting and maintaining the ceasefire. This will give the parties to the conflict an atmosphere for frank, trustful, and sincere talks.”
The Chairperson of IGAD Special Envoys, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin said the peace agreement will determine the fate of South Sudanese.
He said leaders of the warring parties have to make decisions about the direction of the country.
“We have now reached at a critical juncture whereby participants of this phase will make decisions that may impact the destiny of the people of South Sudan and their youngest nation.”
“If implemented wholeheartedly, in a later and spirit, the compromised agreement can take the stakeholders and the entire people to a better future.”
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