Peace Talks Stall As Fighting Continues In South Sudan
Neither side in the conflict has agreed to give in on the issue of political detainees.
A spokesperson for the opposition negotiating team, Mabior Ngarang said the team is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the peace talks with an open mind and is waiting for guidance from mediators before resuming talks.
The East African group of nations, IGAD is leading the mediation efforts.
South Sudan foreign affairs spokesman Mawien Makol Arik said the government cannot accept those terms.
“The position of government is clear, that the detainees are not going to be released, they should not be released with the current efforts to find a way for the cessation of hostilities and finally a cease fire,” he said.
Meanwhile, South-Sudan's army is advancing on the key rebel-held centres of Bentiu and Bor, as rebels strengthen defences in Bentiu.
An army spokes-man was quoted as saying government troops were "next to Bentiu", some 15 kilometres away from Bor.
Reports say hundreds have fled violence in Bor.
At least 1,000 people have been killed in the fighting since 15th December, with more than 200,000 others displaced.
Regionally brokered talks to declare a cease-fire have stalled.
People who escaped the violence said gun-men shot dead, fleeing civilians, torched entire villages and destroyed crops.
By Angel Mboya
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