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KHARTOUM - 13 Jul 2018

Sudan to launch 'shuttle diplomacy' as warring parties toughen positions

The Sudanese mediation team would launch "shuttle diplomacy" between Juba and Kampala in an attempt to narrow the gaps between South Sudan’s warring parties on Friday.

South Sudan peace negotiators in Khartoum faced tough bargaining over power sharing, as regional leaders seek to end the ongoing conflict in Africa’s youngest nation.

A top official at the venue of the peace talks in Khartoum told Radio Tamazuj that the Sudanese mediators decided to engage in shuttle diplomacy between South Sudan and Uganda after receiving comments and alternative proposals from the South Sudan warring parties and stakeholders on the post-Entebbe peace plan.

He revealed that the ongoing talks in Khartoum have been extended again until next Tuesday to give ample time to the warring parties to reach a common ground on the key pending issues on power sharing.

“So the delegates of various groups will stay in Khartoum to continue the consolations,” he said.

The official pointed out that a new power sharing proposal is expected to be presented to the warring parties on Sunday.

Edmund Yakani, a renowned civil society activist, said from Khartoum where he attends the talks that mistrust and lack of confidence for working together among the conflicting parties remain major barriers to the progress of the peace talks.

“The level of individual political grievances the political elites have towards each other made the negotiations to be harder, and it is hardening the negotiations,” he said.

“The phase of peace talks between Khartoum and Nairobi needs involvement of Raila Odinga so he could foster trust and confidence-building among the political elites. Compromise has become problematic among the conflicting parties because of mistrust at the individual level and generally as political groups,” he added.

Yakani urged the South Sudan conflicting parties to honour the signed ceasefire agreement.