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South Sudan peace talks advancing in Ethiopia



East African Presidents met in Ethiopia on Thursday (March 13th, 2014) in the latest push for peace in war-torn South Sudan, where almost three months of conflict has left thousands dead.

Leaders from bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), gathered in the Addis Abbaba , the Ethipoian capital to “deliberate on the current situation in the Republic of South Sudan”, a statement read.

South Sudanese media said President Salva Kiir is due to attend, but no direct talks between Kiir’s government and the rebels were due to take place until next week.

The leaders were the top politicians of  Djibouti , Ethiopia , Kenya , Somalia , Sudan , South Sudan and Uganda.

South Sudan’s government has been at civil war with rebel groups since December 15, when a clash between troops loyal to Kiir and those loyal to sacked vice president Riek Machar snowballed into full-scale fighting across the world’s newest nation.

The Summit will try to find means of implementing previous agreements and the deployment of peacekeeping forces to South Sudan.

The two sides signed an IGAD-brokered ceasefire agreement on January 23, but heavy fighting has continued.

Stalled peace talks in Ethiopia between rebels and the government, which have made little progress, are due to resume on March 20.

About one million civilians have fled their homes since fighting began, including over quarter of million leaving for neighbouring nations as refugees, according to the United Nations.