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US, UK Set Tough Conditions for South Sudan Talks

Western powers have set tough conditions for the revived South Sudan peace talks aimed at ending four of years of civil strife.

The United States, United Kingdom and Norway who are also the biggest donors to the fragile nation, in a joint statement on Friday stated that parties involved in the conflict cannot be talking peace in the neighboring Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa when war is going on in South Sudan.

“The Troika (US, UK and Norway) underscores the critical importance of the parties creating a conducive environment for peacemaking: fighting while talking is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” part of the statement read.

In December last year, the government of President Salva Kiir and the rebels of Dr. Riek Machar signed a cease fire agreement but frontlines remain active and over one third of the population continue to suffer.

Torika wants the government and rebels to remain committed to the December agreement.

“The parties must make good on their promises to implement the Agreement on a Cessation of Hostilities (ACOH) signed in December 2017,” the statement added.

The 3 Super Powers stressed that they are ready to implement regional or continental measures imposed against those prolonging the war in South Sudan.

“We take note and support the intention by IGAD and the African Union to identify and impose consequences on those undermining peace as soon as possible and we stand ready to support them in their efforts.”

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The U.S and allies have also demanded that the implementation of cease fire agreement should as well include release of political and war prisoners.

“Implementation of the ACOH must also include the release of political prisoners and prisoners of war, the end to the use of child soldiers and sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon.”

The powers want free access granted for peace monitors and humanitarian assistance organizations.

“The parties must also allow unfettered access for Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) monitors and for humanitarian assistance and aid workers responding to Africa’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

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