[QODLink]
Africa

South Sudan president asks to revive talks

Salva Kiir asks rebel leader to resume peace talks as the country marks third birthday amid violence.

Last updated: 09 Jul 2014 16:44
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The president called on Riek Machar (pictured) to return to negotiations [AFP]

South Sudan's president has called on rebels to resume peace talks as the country marked its third birthday with celebrations overshadowed by fighting that has killed thousands and brought it to the verge of famine.

South Sudan has been in political turmoil since Salva Kiir, the president, sacked his former deputy Riek Machar last year, triggering an ethnic conflict in a country which only won independence from Sudan in 2011.

"Put down your guns and come home," Kiir said in the capital Juba during a ceremony on Wednesday marking the anniversary of independence.

"I still renew my call upon him [Machar] to accept the logic of peaceful resolution to the conflict so that we resolve this issue."

Clashes erupted in Juba in December pitting the government forces of Kiir against supporters of Machar. The conflict has reopened deep ethnic tensions in the world's youngest country which only won independence from Sudan in 2011.

Peace talks have stalled after the two sides met in Addis Ababa in May and agreed on a ceasefire.

The mood in Juba on Wednesday was markedly more muted than in 2011 when revellers draped in South Sudan flags thronged the streets and danced the night away.

Three years on, a much smaller and reticent crowd listened as the president gave an independence day address. An ongoing curfew enforced by the army every day at 6pm local time was expected to further curtail any celebrations.

More than 10,000 people have been killed since the clashes broke out in Juba in December and violence spread to oil-producing regions, slashing output by a third and crippling South Sudan's oil-dependent economy.

270

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.