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South Sudan peace talks end without deal

Regional grouping IGAD has been helping to mediate and get South Sudan’s warring parties to agree again on power sharing and security arrangements.

Peacekeeper troops from Ethiopia deployed by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan patrol outside the premises of the UN Protection of Civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, on 4 October 2016. Picture: AFP.

ADDIS ABABA - Talks in Ethiopia to revive South Sudan’s failed 2015 peace pact and end the country’s civil war broke up on Wednesday without a deal, mediators said, potentially prolonging a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

Regional grouping IGAD has been helping to mediate and get South Sudan’s warring parties to agree again on power sharing and security arrangements, crucial steps for recommitting to the 2015 agreement and ending the war.

In a statement IGAD said the talks ended on Wednesday after “several attempts to narrow the gaps between the positions of the parties” proved fruitless.

South Sudan plunged into war in December 2013, barely two years after independence from Sudan, after a disagreement between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar deteriorated into a military confrontation.

Tens of thousands have been killed by the fighting between troops loyal to Kiir and forces loyal to Machar. The conflict has also left a quarter of the country’s population of 12 million either internally displaced or as refugees in neighbouring countries.

IGAD’s statement did not mention on which issues the two sides had failed to reach agreement but encouraged them to consider the group’s proposals, which “reflect a considered effort to identify common ground between the different negotiating positions.”