Skip to main content
ADDIS ABABA - 22 Jun 2014

Activists want reselection of peace talks delegates

A group of South Sudanese activists has called for a fresh process to select civil society delegates to the roundtable peace talks in Addis Ababa.

In a message addressed to IGAD Special Envoys and obtained by Radio Tamazuj, the Consortium of External Civil Society Organisations of South Sudan (CECSOSS) said the civil society representatives from Juba do not yet sufficiently represent constituencies directly affected by the conflict including refugees, internally displaced persons, and persons with special needs.

CECSOSS, which claimed to represent 42 organisations registered in South Sudan who have operated outside Juba since the civil war began on 15 December 2013, said new civil society delegates should be selected to represent those vulnerable groups.

The CECSOSS message further deplored what it described as a lack of transparency by IGAD that has marred an initially good gesture of including all stakeholders in peace talks.

Civil society and religious groups have been asked to join the Addis Ababa negotiations so that the process does not include only the two warring parties in South Sudan. The opposition led by Riek Machar is boycotting the talks because it says civil society groups from rebel-held territories have been excluded.

CECSOSS said that individual groups within the consortium have been engaging separately with IGAD Special Envoys on the peace process since the beginning of the crisis, but that they have not been officially represented despite efforts to get in touch directly with IGAD as per a letter to chief mediator Amb. Mesfin Seyoum dated 6 June 2014.

CECSOSS further urged for inclusion of a female member to the all-male three-person team of IGAD Special Envoys.

The group called for an immediate resumption of the second round of peace talks and expressed disappointment with the delay, saying it is a critical phase to put an end to the senseless deaths of innocent civilians.