EYEAFRICA TV: Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA: A representative of South Sudan refugee community in Uganda Maria Juliet broke down in tears at her country’s peace talks in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, pleading for the country’s leaders to do more to protect their people.
Parties at the peace talks signed recommitments that were reached during church-facilitated intra-South-South talks on security and governance issues. Speaking directly to the parties during the initialing ceremony, Juliet said South Sudan don’t need powers, saying “We South Sudanese refugees need peace back to our country; we want to drink waters in our countries, but not that of other countries. We need other countries to come and visit us.”
The South Sudan civil war is an ongoing conflict between forces of the government and opposition forces. In December 2013, President Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar and ten others of attempting a coup d’état. Machar denied trying to start a coup and fled to lead the SPLM – in opposition (SPLM-IO). A youth representative Simon Marot Touloung demanded that South Sudanese leaders take on their responsibilities to ensure peace and development reigns countrywide. “Leadership is not about looking at yourself; it is about looking at the people you lead and one’s personal position.” Moses Deng Bol, Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan said, “We the warring parties and the stakeholders therefore recommit ourselves immediately to the implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement of December 2017 to stop the fighting that has caused immense suffering to the people of South Sudan.”
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 after decades of war. The birth of the new country brought hope for a bright future. In December 2013, that hope dimmed as the conflict broke out.