South Sudan draft deal hangs on political pardons
Deal urges President Salva Kiir to release 11 political detainees
East African mediators are urging South Sudan's warring parties to sign a ceasefire deal to end conflict and atrocities that have devastated the young nation, according to a draft accord.
A separate draft deal urges President Salva Kiir to pardon and release 11 key political detainees, one of the key sticking points of deadlocked talks in Ethiopia mediated by the East African regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority and Development (IGAD).
Thousands have been killed and half a million civilians have been forced to flee the fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied to his sacked deputy Riek Machar.
The draft ceasefire accord, seen by Agence France-Presse and presented to peace delegates meeting in Addis Ababa, notes the "scale of human suffering... with great loss of human life, destruction of property and massive displacement" since fighting broke out on Dec. 15.
The proposal demands an end to "all military actions," but also specifically highlights both sides must "refrain from attacks on the civilian population", including summary executions, use of child soldiers as well as "rape, sexual abuse and torture."
The United Nations says that atrocities including war crimes are reported to have been committed by both sides.
Both sides would have to "freeze their forces" in their positions and allow aid corridors in, with half a million civilians now having fled their homes.
They would also have to agree to an IGAD-led team including members from both sides and regional nations to monitor the deal.
The draft deal on political detainees urges Kiir to pardon them to allow their participation in an "all-inclusive national reconciliation process."
African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma flew to the South Sudan capital Juba on Monday to meet Kiir in a bid to help broker a peace deal.
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is to visit Thursday, at the invitation of IGAD chairman, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
- South Sudan army’s sights on oil town Malakal after reclaiming Bor
- Army: South Sudan troops capture key town of Bor, defeating 15,000 rebels
- U.N. says South Sudan is a ‘horrifying human rights disaster’
- Uganda leader says helping South Sudan fight rebels
- At Sudanese border, long wait to leave southern war behind
- South Sudan battles rage in key oil town of Malakal
- U.N. says 10,000 flee to Sudan from South Sudan fighting