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ADDIS ABABA - 8 Feb 2018

Mini-committee formed as peace talks stall in Addis Ababa

A mini-committee has been set up by mediators today at the ongoing IGAD-led peace process in Addis Ababa as negotiations stall over governance and security sector reform matters, a senior rebel official at the peace talks said.

“We have already agreed on many issues and we were supposed to sign the agreement on declaration of principles, but the government rejected the article which says peace violators should be sanctioned. So we could not reach any agreement this morning,” Emmanuel Aban, spokesman of the opposition group led by Lam Akol, told Radio Tamazuj this afternoon.

He pointed out that the mediators had requested South Sudan’s parties to negotiate on the national parliament. “As opposition, we presented a paper and said the current parliament should be dissolved because its needs to be reduced, but the government refused. The government said the parliament should be expanded,” he said.

The rebel official revealed that that the mediators eventually decided to form a mini-committee to discuss and find a solution to the deadlock over the two issues.

Aban noted that the opposition has agreed to work together at the ongoing peace agreement. “We had a meeting as members of the opposition and we agreed to work together,” he said.

The leading member of the National Democratic Movement said that the opposition had no red lines at the ongoing peace negotiations in Addis Ababa.