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Russia insists warring parties in South Sudan sit down to talk

December 25, 2013, 14:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian presidential special envoy for African countries Mikhail Margelov urges the parties to start negotiations
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev

MOSCOW, December 25. /ITAR-TASS/. The events in South Sudan are tragic and dangerous, and Russia insists the warring parties sat down to talk themselves, Russian presidential special envoy for African countries Mikhail Margelov told Itar-Tass.

Now “the international community is doing everything possible to settle the conflict. Russia is taking an active part in these efforts”, the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman said.

“South Sudan is full of U.N. personnel, who are transported by Russian helicopters and Russian crews. Russian citizens serve at the U.N. Police Mission in South Sudan and they are guarded in compliance with U.N. security standards,” the legislator said.

“These are high security standards. But it is clear that any work in peacekeeping missions is risky and dangerous that is why we’re proud of people who represent Russian in this area,” he said.

“Russian businessmen are actively sizing up the market in South Sudan,” Margelov said, adding “When the country is raged by contradictions and bloody conflicts it is rather difficult to talk about any long-term strategic investments.”

He said the situation in South Sudan would be one of the key issues at the summit of the African Union (AU) due to take place in the Ethiopian capital in late 2014.

Margelov will represent Russia at the summit.

“We know what has happened in South Sudan and we exert maximum effort to cooperate with the U.N. and the African Union,” he said.

“At the end of January the AU summit will take place in Addis Ababa. I’ll represent Russia at the summit. I believe that the situation in South Sudan will be a basic topic at the summit in parallel with the situations in the Central African Republic, Mali and Somali,” the Russian legislator said.

According to official data, over 10 days 500 people were killed during the armed conflict in South Sudan.

However, U.N. representatives give other figures. A total of 45,000 people found shelter at U.N. bases. At least 80,000 people left their homes.

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