Amid renewed fighting, South Sudan's warring parties agree to talk peace in Ethiopia - InfoNews

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Amid renewed fighting, South Sudan's warring parties agree to talk peace in Ethiopia

A United Nations helicopter offloads supplies at the airport, to be taken to a nearby U.N. camp where the displaced have sought shelter, in Malakal, South Sudan Monday, Dec. 30, 2013. When violence broke out in Juba on Dec. 15 life remained calm but tense in Malakal, the capital of oil-producing Upper Nile state, but the violence then radiated outward from Juba and full-fledged war broke out in the town on Christmas Day, as army commanders defected and pledged allegiance to the country's ousted vice president, in most cases pitting the ethnic group of President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, against ethnic Nuers. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
December 31, 2013 - 6:52 AM

The United States special envoy to South Sudan says the country's warring factions have agreed to attend peace talks in Ethiopia.

Donald Booth told The Associated Press Tuesday that the commitment of both sides is "a first but very important step to achieving a cessation of hostilities" and the beginning of negotiations to resolve the crisis in the world's newest country.

South Sudan has been gripped by violence since Dec. 15 when a fight among presidential guards later spiraled into ethnically-based violenceacross the country.

Under a regional bloc known as IGAD, Ethiopia has been playing a leading role in trying to get South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his political rival, ousted Vice-President Riek Machar, to the negotiating table amid continuing hostilities between both sides.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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