South Sudanese rebels said on Thursday that more time is needed to secure lasting peace in the country and it would be necessary to address the root causes of a civil war.
“There is no shortcut to peace,” the group said in a statement after peace talks in Ethiopia between its leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir, the first time the two men had met since 2016, when a peace deal collapsed and fighting re-erupted between their forces.
Revisit the 2015 peace agreement
SPLM/SPLA (IO) said the solution to the five-year civil war, which has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than 3 million people to flee their homes, was to revisit the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
The CPA was agreed in 2005 between Sudan and South Sudan that was aimed at ending the civil war in Sudan and paved the way for South Sudan to hold its ultimately successful secession.
“The current model, with its various workshops, though they are very informative, is unrealistic, as it is not for lack of technical experts that there is war in the country, nor will the workshops stop the war,” the group said.
South Sudan needs a political solution
The imposition of an agreement on the parties will not work, the statement said.
“For any meaningful dialogue to take place, it should be within the context of a comprehensive political settlement,” the group said. “So that the guns can fall silent and a conducive environment for dialogue established.”
Heads of member states of the regional Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is leading discussions to revive the 2015 peace deal are meeting in Addis to discuss among other issues, the conflict in South Sudan.
Presidents of Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan as well the Ethiopian prime minister are in attendance. Uganda is represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs.