Fresh peace talks start between South Sudan and rebels

Fresh peace talks have commenced between the South Sudanese government and rebel factions, hosted in Nairobi, Kenya, and mediated by Kenyan officials.

This initiative follows the collapse of previous negotiations in 2022, which were facilitated in Rome by a Catholic association associated with the Vatican.

The earlier talks, aimed at reconciling the government with rebel groups who hadn’t signed the 2018 peace agreement ending a prolonged civil war, disintegrated due to accusations from the government, claiming the rebels were exploiting the process for military preparation.

The Community of Sant’Egidio, a Rome-based Catholic organization committed to stabilizing conflict-ridden South Sudan, paused the negotiations last year upon a request from President Salva Kiir.

Responding to President Kiir’s plea, Kenya agreed to mediate, appointing former army commander Lazarus Sumbeiywo to lead the discussions. Sumbeiywo had previously played a crucial role in mediating the 2005 peace accord between Khartoum and South Sudanese rebels, which led to the latter’s independence from Sudan.

The world’s newest nation has been marred by persistent instability since its independence, notably the devastating civil war from 2013 to 2018, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.

Pagan Amum, representing the Non-Signatory South Sudan Opposition Group (NSSOG), emphasized the urgent need for unity to prevent the country’s fragmentation and descent into chaos.

Various rebel groups, including the South Sudan United Front and Real-SPLM, are participating in the talks, striving to address the multifaceted crises plaguing the nation. Despite a ceasefire signed in 2020, violence has persisted, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation compounded by natural disasters and economic turmoil.

The South Sudanese conflict has left approximately nine million people dependent on humanitarian aid, with additional challenges posed by the influx of refugees fleeing Sudan’s ongoing conflict.

Scroll to Top