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SSudan President Salva Kiir Plans Sudan Peace Talks

FILE - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir addresses the opening session of parliament in Juba, South Sudan August 30, 2021.

JUBA — President Salva Kiir said he is concerned about Sudan's crisis and remained on standby to travel to the capital, Khartoum, adding he spoke to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fatteh al-Burhan and paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, about silencing the guns and settling their differences through dialogue.

The presidents of Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Djibouti, and Somalia resolved to send Kenyan President William Ruto, Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Kiir to broker a ceasefire in Sudan after the regional bloc the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) met this week.

Speaking this week in Juba while hosting Iftar, a Ramadan fast-breaking meal, Kiir said he was on standby and could travel to the capital, Khartoum, anytime.

"Even though we separated from Sudan, I still love Sudan and I love the Sudanese people. If they want to do something bad, I will say do not do it. Now we are waiting for a sign from Khartoum to say that there is no more sound of bullets and planes can land in Khartoum airport [then] I will go," Kiir said.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in 2011 after 21 years of a bitter civil war between Sudan government and the rebels of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army/Movement.

Kiir said he is aware many Sudanese nationals living in South Sudan are affected by the ongoing fighting in Sudan. He said he will ensure the two Sudanese rival leaders settle their differences through dialogue.

"We are celebrating here in Juba but our brothers in Khartoum are crying because they lost people who are dear to them. That is a very sad thing. The war in Khartoum has surprised us because we did not know there will be a war, we [will] intervened to convince the two sides so that they can accept peace and not enter in more fights that is not good," he said.

South Sudan’s Vice President Hussain Abudalbagi Akol, in charge of service cluster, said the people of Sudan are counting on Kiir to put an end to the political crisis in Sudan.

"We call upon you to use all your wisdom to intervene between our brothers who are fighting in northern Sudan, to bring them to dialogue, to bring peace. We have always told our brothers in the west that, no one can solve the problems of Sudan, except South Sudan," Akol said.

The U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Michael Adler, who attend the Iftar meal, said inviting people from different backgrounds to the Iftar, is a remarkable gesture.

Adler said the people of Sudan deserve a peaceful settlement to the ongoing political crisis.

"Of course this time we have in our thoughts we have the suffering of the people of Sudan and we should all be communicating the need for a ceasefire and for peace," Adler added.