South Sudan to mediate peace talks between Sudan, rebels

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (right) talks to Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir after signing a cease fire and power sharing agreement with South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar in Khartoum, in August. Net photo.

South Sudan has offered to mediate peace talks between the government of its northern neighbour, Sudan, and several rebel groups, just a few months after Khartoum mediated a peace deal for the world’s youngest nation.

Tut Gatluak, presidential adviser on security affairs, told journalists on Monday that the Sudanese government and opposition groups have accepted Juba’s role to mediate the talks, which are expected to start next week.

“The oppositions... have all accepted President Salva Kiir to be mediator between them and the Khartoum government,” Gatluak said.

“Next week... the delegation of Sudan and the delegation from the opposition groups in Sudan will be converging in Juba in order to come and start talking for peace,” he added.

Sudan has been battling rebels from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since 2011.

Several rounds of peace talks have failed to end the conflict in the two areas bordering South Sudan.

Juba and Khartoum previously accused each other of harbouring rebel elements in their territories, but relations between the former foes seem to be improving since Sudan successfully mediated the new peace deal aimed at ending almost five years of civil unrest in South Sudan.

Gatluak said it is vital for the two countries to help each other with peace mediation efforts and end rebellions.

“In order for the two states to be viable and in order for the two countries to continue enjoying some sort of prosperity, the wars with the oppositions in the two states have to stop,” Gatluak added.