Seven SPLM leaders join peace talks

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Addis Ababa, 14 February 2014 (WIC) - The seven SPLM leaders who were released by the South Sudanese government have joined the 2nd phase peace talks upon the earlier recognition by IGAD Heads of State, South Sudan government and the SPLM in opposition.

At a press conference held at Hilton Addis yesterday, the seven SPLM leaders called upon President Salva Kiir Mayardit, IGAD and Special Envoys that the release of the remaining four prisoners will contribute to the efforts in finding lasting solution to the crisis in the country.

Earlier in the day, they met with IGAD special envoys and exchanged views on the way forward and matters related with the agenda and the procedure of the talks as the spokesman of the team, Jon Luk Jok said.

They have also expressed their concern about the suffering of the people of South Sudan as a result of the ongoing conflict which claimed the lives of innocent people.

Having mentioned the displacement of hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese to bushes, UN camps and neighboring countries, they called upon the UN specialized agencies and the international community at large to increase their humanitarian intervention to save lives and minimize sufferings.

The spokesman also said that IGAD and the international community should urgently put in place mechanisms for monitoring and the verification of the ceasefire already agreed so as to prevent violations and further escalation of the conflict.

SPLM Delegation Head Deng Alor Koul also said that as a country, the killing of the people and fighting for control of the territory is not the best way of addressing the current crisis.

''We must focus of finding political settlement to the crisis by addressing comprehensively underlying issues,'' he said.

He said that the SPLM is committed to participate effectively and positively alongside other parties in finding peaceful and durable solution to the crisis in the country. (EH)