South Sudan Peace Talks Stalled as Fighting Continues

Negotiations for a possible cease fire among leaders of two factions engaged in fighting in South Sudan, which were scheduled to begin yesterday, are now on hold. Instead, there were more reports of violence throughout the country this weekend, despite hopes that an end to the fighting—which is now largely happening along ethnic lines—could be near. South Sudan President Salva Kiir and the rebel leader, former vice president Riek Machar, initially said that they were both willing to commit to peace, but the talks stalled after Kiir made it clear that captured rebels who were engaged in the unrest would not be released even if a deal was struck. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters over the weekend that the negotiations must be “serious” and cautioned that the two sides should not use them as “a delay gimmick in order to continue the fighting and try to find advantage on the ground at the expense of the people of South Sudan.” The U.N. is currently attempting to raise money in order to provide food, water and aid to the more than 200,000 displaced by the violence …

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