South Sudan foes resume peace talks as famine looms

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South Sudan foes resume peace talks as famine loomsADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – South ’s warring sides opened the latest round of talks Monday as regional mediators warned is running out for a country which aid agencies say is the brink of a famine.

At least 10,000 people been killed since fierce fighting erupted in the capital Juba in December pitting government forces of President Salva Kiir against supporters of Riek Machar, his former deputy and long- political rival.

The conflict has reopened deep ethnic tensions between Kiir’s Dinka and Machar’s Nuer, in a country which only won independence from in 2011.

Negotiations have rumbled for months scant in the Ethiopian capital. The United and the European Union have slapped military leaders from both sides after the first ceasefire in January swiftly crumbled.

Kiir and Machar signed a second ceasefire deal May 9, and agreed to a 60-day timeline in which they were supposed to thrash out details for the formation of a transitional government. Further , however, has been marred by disagreements who can participate at the talks.

Each side has accused the other of violating the May ceasefire but large-scale fighting has been rare, partly due to the onset of the rainy season which restricts movement in the vast African country that boasts only a handful of paved roads.

Western diplomats say they are losing patience both sides and warn a “ made” famine is looming. [eap_ad_2] The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – a regional grouping brokering the negotiations – opened the latest round of negotiations by reminding both sides that it was ready to take measures against them if is made.

are not enough. We must truly deliver,” Seyoum Mesfin, IGAD’s chief mediator of the talks, said in a speech. “The not tolerate any delay.”

Ethiopian Hailemariam Desalegn, whose country is current chair of IGAD, said in July the bloc would not rush to impose , but that he believed the latest round of talks would be a “last attempt” before measures are taken.

One IGAD official told Reuters the warring sides discuss how to implement a ceasefire deal which would also detail rebel and government positions in the battlefield. An agreement on the issue would then pave the way for withdrawal of Ugandan troops who have propped up Kiir’s government.

Aid agencies say South could be headed for the worst famine since the mid-1980s, when malnutrition swept through East Africa and killed over a people.

Four people – or than a third of the country’s population – are now believed to be facing emergency levels of food security.[eap_ad_3]