The Washington Post quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on negotiations between South Sudan and rebel forces:
The clash and the rebels’ apparent push toward Juba, which lies 120 miles from Bor, are likely to pose challenges to efforts by American and African mediators to negotiate an end to the conflict, which has entered its third week. Representatives of Machar and President Salva Kiir have arrived in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and are expected to discuss a cease-fire and a peace deal.
Analysts say that any push toward Juba by the rebels could be an effort to apply more pressure on Kiir to step down, rather than a tactical move to seize the capital. In Juba, most of the SPLA is considered loyal to Kiir, and the rebels could find themselves in a precarious military position.
“If the rebels present enough of a military threat to the capital, people in the leadership may realize that the only way forward is some sort of change at the top,” said J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.