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South Sudan Conflict: President Salva Kiir to face Rebel leader, Riek Machar in Peace Talks / Breaking News

south sudan peace talks

The South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir will come face-to-face with rebel leader, Riek Machar for the time since mass violence began in December in South Sudan.

The talks are due to take place in Ethiopia today and mediators say they are confident that the talks will provide a meaningful result that would end the conflict.

A ceasefire was agreed between the two sides in early January this year, in a deal mediated by regional leaders but both sides accused each other of violating the ceasefire agreement.

The conflict has left thousands dead and more than one million homeless, according to the United Nations estimate. About five million people are also in desperate need of aid.

The United Nations has also accused both sides of crimes against humanity, including mass killings, sexual slavery and gang-rape.

“Widespread and systematic” atrocities were carried out in homes, hospitals, mosques, churches and UN compounds, a report the United Nation said .

President Kiir accused Riek Machar of plotting a coup against his government. Riek Machar was President Kiir deputy in the government. He was sacked by President Kiir.

President Salva Kiir is from the Dinka ethnic group (majority) while Riek Machar on the other hand is from the Nuer ethnic group (minority) and political analyst say the conflict is being fought on these ethnic lines.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in 2011 after decades of conflict with Sudan which left many people dead.

The US and the UK have welcomed the talks and called it a sense of hope for the newly independent South Sudan.

Both President Kiir and Mr. Machar were part of the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) which fought for independence from Sudan but relation between the two worsen in less than 2 years of independence from Sudan.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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