Peace talks to resume amid calls for cease-fire

China Daily
Zhang Tao

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - As South Sudan's warring factions have yet to abide by the recently signed cease-fire agreement, the second round of peace talks are scheduled to start in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on Monday.

The High Level Revitalization Forum on South Sudan, among other things, is expected to bring parties involved in South Sudan together based on a Dec 21 cease-fire agreement.

The agreement, brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, asked the warring parties to stop military operations, demanded that forces remain in their bases and called for the release of political detainees.

Despite the deal that was signed during the first round of peace talks in Addis Ababa, the violence has continued, creating a worsening humanitarian crisis.

According to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the fighting has displaced close to 4 million people, many of whom have fled to neighboring countries, mainly Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Monday's talks will bring together the country's armed and non-warring political factions, various forms of civic associations and representatives of private organizations.

According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the forum, which is set to revitalize the 2015 peace deal between the government and rebel forces, is expected to focus on peace and security issues and governance structures.

Even though the first round of discussion was said to be successful in bringing parties involved in the conflict to agree on cessation of hostilities, it was unable to bring the world's youngest nation out of the ongoing civil war.

Concerned by the humanitarian crisis, African leaders, who took part at the 30th African Union assembly of heads of state and government in Ethiopia, had urged South Sudanese parties to abide by the accord.

Heads of the UN, AU and IGAD had also jointly voiced their frustrations and urged South Sudan's warring factions to abide by the terms of the accord.


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