• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Peace talks under way in South Sudan

SOUTH Sudanese rebels and a government delegation have started peace talks to try to end fighting that has left the world's newest state on the brink of civil war.

The talks in neighbouring Ethiopia focused on brokering a ceasefire to halt three weeks of violence that has killed at least 1000 people and driven 200,000 from their homes.

A member of the ­government delegation said: "We have begun our meeting on the cessation of hostilities."

After opening, the talks quickly took a break to allow consultations in Juba about the release of detained rebels.

The fighting, often along ethnic faultlines, has pitted President Salva Kiir's SPLA government forces against rebels loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar.

Yesterday was the first face-to-face session, after a formal opening ceremony on Saturday, due to delays caused by haggling over the fate of 11 detainees held by the government in Juba. The rebels initially insisted on securing their release before negotiations started.

A diplomat said the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional grouping of east African nations that initiated the talks, had sent its envoys to Juba to press Mr Kiir to free the detainees.

The trio of envoys is led by Seyoum Mesfin, a former Ethiopian foreign minister.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

204204