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China Daily Website  

China urges substantive talks in South Sudan

Updated: 2015-01-13 17:20

KHARTOUM - China has urged the conflicting parties in South Sudan to launch serious and substantive negotiations as soon as possible.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the appeal Monday after an international mediation effort in Khartoum initiated by China and led by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD).

At a joint press conference with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and IGAD chief mediator Seyoum Mesfin, Wang lauded the results of the mediation effort.

At the meeting, the warring parties in South Sudan agreed to immediately cease hostilities, to accelerate the formation of a transitional government, and to relieve the humanitarian situation in the conflict zones and to facilitate delivery of international humanitarian assistance to South Sudanese citizens.

The conflicting parties also reiterated their support for and active participation in IGAD mediation efforts, and expressed welcome to China's support for the group.

Wang warned against further protraction of the South Sudan peace process, saying the situation now stands at a crossroads.

If the parties in South Sudan can join hands and move forward in a brave way, peace is attainable; if they stall, peace will fade away; if they backpedal, there will be no hope at all, said Wang.

He called on the warring parties to take into account the nation's fundamental interests, seize the new opportunity, and work together with the spirit of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation.

He said China supports the leading role of IGAD in the process.

Both the Ethiopian foreign minister and the IGAD chief mediator appreciated China's efforts.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy-turned foe Riek Machar.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president's Dinka tribe against Machar's Nuer ethnic group.

The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee homes.

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