South Sudan government delegation head on peace talks has expressed optimism over ongoing peace talks with rebels loyal to former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa, saying there is “hope.”
Nhial Deng Nhial, the Head of the South Sudan government negotiation team arrived home from Addis Ababa on Monday for consultations with President Salva Kiir following the start of face to face talks with the rebels in its first day on Monday.
“We are hopeful,” Nhial told journalists in Juba on Tuesday shortly after meeting Kiir. “So there is an intense process that is going on aimed at arriving and speedily as possible to cessation of hostilities,” he said.
“Initially, there is a hiccup that threatens to scuttle the negotiation but fortunately the problem was resolved. The other side basically insisted that they cannot talk unless they see that the detainees are set free,” Nhial said.
Three Chief mediators from; Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya on behalf of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) brokering the talks also arrived on Monday to Juba to meet Kiir for consultations.
Release of detainees before the talks get to peak and commitment to other issues including cessation of hostilities remained key demand of the rebels.
Though South Sudan government said the detainees, accused of masterminding a coup on 15 last month, can only be released in accordance with the laws of South Sudan. ?