Kenya Hosts South Sudan Peace Talks Joined By African Leaders

0
315

High-level mediation talks for South Sudan were launched on Thursday in Kenya with African presidents in attendance calling for an end to the conflict that has crippled South Sudan’s economy for years.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir who attended the launch thanked his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto, for hosting the talks and said that his government would negotiate in good faith and with an open mind.

Kiir said he hoped opposition groups shared “a similar conviction and desire for peace in South Sudan, which, when fully achieved, will bring everlasting stability and economic development in the region.”

The talks are between the government and rebel opposition groups that were not part of the 2018 agreement that ended the five-year civil war that left 400,000 people dead.

“We need to leave the mindset of conflict, we need to stop seeing ourselves as enemies. We are brothers and sisters, President Kiir, we are brothers and sisters”, said Pagan Amum Okiech, leader of the Real-SPLM group:

Ruto reiterated Thursday the need for inclusive and home-grown solutions to African issues.

“President Salva Kiir walked into the room and he made a statement to my colleagues here (…) and said ‘Your Excellencies I need your help.’ It was a very, very touching statement”, Ruto added.

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema, Namibia’s Nangolo Mbumba, and Central African Republic’s Faustin-Archange Touadera also attended the meeting that took place after an African Union agricultural summit earlier in the day.