President Kenyatta Attends IGAD Summit

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit is the latest effort by African leaders to push for peace in South Sudan.

The South Sudanese media says that President Salva Kiir will attend the meeting but no direct talks will be held between his government and the rebel forces.

The talks between the two rival factions are scheduled to take place next week.

On Tuesday, four South Sudanese politicians Pagan Amum, Oyai Deng Ajak, Majak D'Agoot, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, went on trial on charges of treason after being accused of plotting a coup against the government.

In addition to the treason charge, they are accused of inciting the army and fuelling an insurgency.

This was their first court appearance since their arrest in December, when a rebellion that has killed thousands of people broke out in South Sudan.

The accused held senior posts in the governing party before the fall out with the President.

They have not yet pleaded to the charges read out in court.

Conflict first broke out in Juba on 15 December 2013 between troops loyal to President Kiir and those allied with his sacked deputy, Riek Machar.

It later spread to other parts of South Sudan, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

Eleven ex-officials were arrested in December, but seven of them were later released.

The two sides signed a ceasefire agreement on January 23, but sporadic fighting has continued.

By Beth Nyaga

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