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LATEST NEWS SOUTH SUDAN SUDAN

Kiir ‘willing’ to work with Machar

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has asserted his willingness to work with rebel leader Riek Machar to achieve lasting peace.

Addressing the opening session of the latest round of peace talks in Khartoum on Monday, President Kiir said he had come to the meeting with an open mind.

“I came here with an open mind and I hope my brother Riek Machar has also come to do the same in order to stop the suffering of our people,” President Kiir said.

The Khartoum mediation comes hot on the heels of the talks in Ethiopia, which failed to reconcile the two protagonists.

Civil war

Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Omar Bashir of Sudan presided over the fresh peace talks.

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) and the representatives from the US, the UK and the European Union were also taking part in the talks.

President Bashir confirmed his keenness to push the negotiations forward to end the four years of civil war in South Sudan.

“We will put all our experience in the negotiations and peace-making to put an end to the war and bring the peace to our brothers in South Sudan,” he stated.

Humanitarian crises

South Sudan attained independence from Sudan in 2011 but descended into a civil war two years later.

The war erupted following a power wrangle between President Kiir and his then deputy Dr Machar.

The war has caused one of the largest humanitarian crises in the continent, according to the UN.

About 2 million South Sudanese have become refugees in neighbouring countries.

The International Crisis Group estimates that more than 100,000 lives have been lost in the young nation from from 2013 to 2015 alone.

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