South Sudan leaders hold direct talks with Kenya
29 June 2015, 21:38
Nairobi - South Sudan leaders held five-hour direct talks in Nairobi over the weekend to find political solution to the current conflict in the world's youngest nation.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir and former South Sudanese deputy president Riek Machar held face-to-face talks, crucial to build confidence and trust between them in ORDER to cement a possible path of peace.
"At our meetings this weekend, we identified and isolated further the most important issues for both sides. We have discussed these extensively and, with the direct talks, both president Kiir and former vice-president Machar understand each other's concerns and reservations," Kenyatta said in a statement received on Monday.
The Kenyan leader also pleaded with warring South Sudanese leaders to expedite the ongoing peace process to restore peace to South Sudan which has been rocked by civil war since December 2013.
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South Sudan's ongoing conflict began in December 2013 and has been marked by brutal violence against civilians and deepening suffering across the country.
According to UN, over 2 million people remain displaced, with more than 1.5 million internally, and some 500,000 in neighbouring countries.
More than 2.5 million people face severe food insecurity, especially in the greater Upper Nile region, and this figure will most likely increase significantly.
Kenya has stepped up search for peace in South Sudan in the recent days to help find an amiable solution to the political crisis which has engulfed the nation.
"A few days ago, at my intervention, all former South Sudanese detainees returned home to Juba and have already been restored to their party positions within the SPLM, ranging from the party's Secretary-General to ranking members of the Politburo and National Liberation Movement (SPLM)," Kenyatta said.
During the talks, Kenyatta said, the two South Sudan leaders expressed their full commitment to the on-going peace processes and reaffirmed their commitment to securing peace for their people.
"I invited the two leaders to reflect on the issues that unite them, which are bigger than those that separate them. I invite the leaders to reflect on the fact that they did not fight for 50 years for their independence so that their country could disintegrate before their own eyes," Kenyatta said.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development peace process has been going on for two years, but has been marked by lack of adherence to agreements by the two warring sides led by Kiir and Machar.