Sudan’s Ambassador to South Sudan Adil Ibrahim Mustafa said Tuesday Khartoum’s good gesture to mediate in talks between South Sudanese warring leaders will end rivalry and yield peace in the East African youngest republic.
Mustafa told Xinhua in Juba that the planned talks between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar is expected to commence on June 18 at the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
The arrangement of the meeting between South Sudanese warring leaders are about to finish. The talks are expected to take place during the eve of a Muslim festival in Khartoum,” Mustafa told Xinhua Tuesday.
The envoy said the talks will focus on discussing contentious issues between the warring parties and it will be attended by the Ethiopian’s new Prime Minister, Abiye Ahmed, including key other Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) leaders.
“I am so confident that the Khartoum submission will end with fruitful results that will motivate the parties to go for final agreement in the next round of talks in Addis Ababa,” the envoy stressed.
He said that the meeting is a part of regional bloc’s efforts to revive the 2015 peace pact to end the more than four years of conflict, dismissing the critics’ allegation that Khartoum was hijacking the regional bloc’s mediation role.
“Our initiative is to mediate the talks between the two principals based on the resolutions of the IGAD Council of Ministers that called for a face-to-face meeting between President Salva Kiir and Machar,” Mustafa said.
“When IGAD council of ministers proposed the talks, they didn’t mention the meeting venue so we are proposing Khartoum to be the venue,” he added.
This comes after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir offered to mediate talks between South Sudanese warring leaders in the Sudanese Capital, Khartoum.
President Kiir and rebel leader Machar have both expressed readiness to hold talks to end rivalry and prevent the world’s newest country from further disintegrating.
The regional bloc urged all the warring parties to seize this opportunity to negotiate in good faith and make real compromises based on the bridging proposal on outstanding issues.
South Sudan’s conflict has now entered its fifth year. The conflict erupted in 2013 after forces loyal to President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar engaged in combat.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital, Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.
Millions of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge in neighboring countries as the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players to end it.