South Sudan peace talks: Kiir, Machar to meet in Khartoum

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Talks between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar are set to be held on Monday in Khartoum, an official has confirmed.

“In it’s last meeting in Addis Ababa, IGAD decided to hold this meeting in Khartoum and also decided that Machar can stay wherever he wants, except in the countries neighbouring South Sudan,” Sudan’s Foreign minister Aldirdiri Mohammed Ahmed said.

He also disclosed that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development taskforce for the South Sudan peace negotiations would attend the meeting.

According to the minister, the US, the UK and Norway would also participate in the Khartoum talks as well as other South Sudan political parties and peace stakeholders.

Mr. Ahmed said further that Machar was not under house arrest in South Africa, where he fled to last year and that the regional bloc had no problem with Dr Machar relocating from South Africa.

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 but two years later descended into a civil war caused by a power wrangle between President Kiir and his former deputy director, Machar.

The country is also one of the largest humanitarian crises on the continent with about 2 million South Sudanese becoming refugees in neighbouring countries.

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

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