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New Mediation Talks on South Sudan’s Conflict Begin in Kenya

South Sudan's President, Salva Sir.

High-profile talks aimed at resolving ongoing conflict in South Sudan commenced on Thursday in Kenya, with key African leaders urging a collaborative effort to restore stability and economic growth to the region.

The talks involve the South Sudanese government and various rebel groups that did not participate in the 2018 peace agreement, which had ended a devastating five-year civil war.

During the opening ceremony, South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir expressed gratitude to Kenya’s President, William Ruto, for facilitating the discussions.

Kiir affirmed his government’s commitment to negotiating in good faith and with an open mind. Kiir also expressed his hope that “the opposition groups have a similar conviction and desire for peace in South Sudan.” He said that when this is achieved, it “will bring everlasting stability and economic development in the region, not just South Sudan.”

President Ruto averred that the talks exemplifies a Pan-African approach to solving African issues, which aligns with the African Union’s “Silencing the Guns in Africa” initiative. He also highlighted the need for inclusive, home-grown solutions in achieving transformative development for South Sudan and the broader African continent.

The event, which took place after an African Union agricultural unit, was attended by African leaders such as Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera, Zambia’s President, Hakainde Hichilema, Namibia’s Nangolo Mbumba, and the Central African Republic’s Faustin-Archange Touadera.

The U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer, conveyed America’s support for the initiative. A statement on X by the U.S. Embassy in Kenya read: “The United States applauds Kenya’s commitment to regional stability and support for peace in South Sudan.”

Chief mediator, Lazarus Sumbeiywo, expressed optimism about the talks’ potential to address and resolve key issues.

He said, “After this launch, we plan to engage in sustained and continuous mediation to ensure a speedy and comprehensive resolution of the issues, so long as the parties go along with the plan.”

South Sudan is set to hold elections in December, and opposition groups are urging a swift implementation of the peace deal to facilitate a fair electoral process.


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