Rebels boycott South Sudan peace talks

June 24, 2014 - 6:56:14 am

JUBA/ADDISABABA: Rebels have boycotted a new round of peace talks to end South Sudan’s conflict because of a dispute about who should attend, those involved in the protracted negotiations said yesterday.

South Sudan has been in political turmoil since President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy Riek Machar last year, triggering a conflict that has reopened deep ethnic tensions in the world’s youngest country which only won independence from Sudan in 2011.

Kiir comes from the dominant Dinka ethnic group, while Machar, now rebel leader, is from another major tribe, the Nuer.

The new round of talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa was to have brought in new players such as civil society organisations, faith-based groups and others, along with government and rebel negotiators, to try to secure a broad deal.

There has been little to show for months of negotiations.

Two ceasefire deals were swiftly violated, with each side

blaming the other. A new delay in talks threatens to extend a crisis that aid agencies say could drive the nation to famine.

The regional African IGAD grouping, which is mediating, has threatened both sides with sanctions unless they halt fighting.

Tribal clashes

kill 20 in Darfur

KHARTOUM:  Tribal clashes have reignited in Sudan’s Darfur region, leaving up to 20 dead, local sources said yesterday.

A patrol from the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission reached Umm Dukhun and other areas of Central Darfur state to verify reports of fighting between the rival Misseriya and Salamat tribes, a UNAMID public information officer said.

“A variety of sources at these locations informed the patrol that clashes in the area broke out on June 19 following an alleged theft of livestock, and continued on June 20-21,” the officer said.

Local sources in the area said  that between 10 and 20 people had died.Agencies