Africa South Sudan denies political settlement with rebels

South Sudan denies political settlement with rebels

South Sudanese information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth
South Sudanese information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth

(AA) – The South Sudanese government has denied reports that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has drafted a proposed settlement for the year-long conflict between Juba and rebel forces.

“We have not been informed of any such action,” Michael Makoy, South Sudan’s information minister and spokesman for Juba’s negotiating team, told The Anadolu Agency.

“We have only been told to wait for the next invitation [to talks],” he said.

Makoy’s statements came following media reports earlier this week that IGAD, a regional grouping that is sponsoring talks between South Sudan’s warring rivals, had drafted a settlement proposal to be reviewed and signed by both sides.

“IGAD said it would soon set a date for a new round of negotiations,” Makoy said.

The fledgling country, which seceded from Sudan in 2011, descended into chaos one year ago following a power struggle within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

Full-blown conflict erupted on December 15 of last year, which President Salva Kiir was quick to portray as a coup attempt by Riek Machar, his sacked vice-president, and the latter’s supporters.

The conflict has since claimed tens of thousands of lives, displaced nearly two million people, and left about four million people at risk of food insecurity, according to humanitarian agencies.

In recent months, the warring camps have held on-again, off-again IGAD-mediated peace talks in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Previous articleEbola dampens New Year watchnight services in Liberia
Next articleTurkey, Shell to drill in Black Sea in 2015