Government Welcomes Civil Society Participation In Peace Talks

Ateny Wek Ateny, the Spokesman in the Office of the President says civil society organisations are welcome to the peace talks in Addis Ababa. [Telegraph]Ateny Wek Ateny, the Spokesman in the Office of the President in a reaction to a position paper developed by the civil society last week said that, President Salva Kiir welcomes the participation of the activists.

“Anybody who is actually trying to be part of the negotiations so that peace come to this country is welcome,” Ateny said. “The President – Salva Kiir – has welcomed that.”

However, he said that; “the Civil Society Organization should play a role that is neutral. So they – civil society – need to be there to lobby because the civil society organization don’t sit to negotiate because if they sit to negotiate they will be part of the solution.”

Last week a coalition of civil society of about 30 organizations came under an umbrella dubbed Citizens for Peace and Justice (CPJ) had requested the Inter-govermental Authority on Development (IGAD) brokering the peace talks between the South Sudan government and rebels to be allowed to participate on the peace talks.

CPJ expressed deep concerns on the great negative impact caused by the crisis that broke out last year in December.

CPJ resolved that, its role will want to ensure that the talks also take into consideration interests of the citizens rather than being based on the two parties only and several reforms that will contribute in restoring total peace in the fledgling nation.

Over 800,000 people in the country so far have been affected with thousands been displaced outside the country following the breakout of the crisis.

According to media agencies the peace talks are however, stalled in Addis Ababa due to rebels’ unmet demands.

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