S’Sudan rejects troika mediators at talks
SOUTH Sudan rejected a proposal by IGAD, the regional bloc leading peace talks, to include members of the troika as mediators in the next round of talks.
IGAD announced this month that it plans to expand the mediation team to include the troika – the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom – as well as representatives from the European Union, China, the United Nations, and from around Africa.
South Sudan Information Minister, Michael Makuei, told reporters at a news conference on Monday that if there were troika officials at the negotiating table when the talks resume, Juba would raise objections.
“They are the very people who demanded that sanctions must be passed against the government of South Sudan. They have already decided to punish us,” he said. “Are they neutral to come and mediate again? These people, whether you call it troika or the UN, these are people who have lost credibility.”
The United States sponsored a UN Security Council resolution calling for a sanctions regime to be set up for South Sudan. The resolution, which was passed unanimously early this month, opens the way for the UN to impose targeted sanctions against “senior individuals” who are seen to be blocking peace in South Sudan. It does not specifically mention the government.
Makuei has been the spokesman for the government delegation at the IGAD-led peace talks, which have been running for nearly 15 months.
Last week, the United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, told reporters in Juba that IGAD invited members of the international community to be part of the talks to help move the peace process forward.