South Sudan Peace Talks: U.S. Again Calls For Kiir To Release Machar Allies
South Sudan President Kiir; U.S. Wants Him to release Machar's political associates
[Africa News]The following statement was released today in Washington, D.C., by Jen Psaki, the top spokesperson at the U.S. Department of State.
Secretary Kerry spoke yesterday with South Sudanese President Kiir to discuss ways to advance the talks taking place in Ethiopia between the parties to the conflict in South Sudan.
He also – Secretary Kerry also reiterated his support for the democratically elected Government of South Sudan. He urged President Kiir to use the talks to find a peaceful, democratic way forward and reiterated the need for senior SPLM members currently detained by the Government of Sudan to be present for political discussions to be meaningful and productive.
He asked President Kiir to make good on his commitment to release all political detainees immediately.
The two also discussed the urgent need for both sides to immediately halt fighting on the ground and protect civilians even as talks continue. The Secretary reiterated that the United States will deny support and work to apply international pressure to any elements that use force to seize power from the Government of South Sudan.
As you know, Special Envoy – the President’s Special Envoy Booth is in Ethiopia, has been for the last couple days in support of the talks between the parties which are ongoing. He’s pressing them to reach a ceasefire and ensure humanitarian access. We still believe, of course, and continue to reiterate the fact that we believe these negotiations need to be serious, both sides need to listen to the region and the international community.