South Sudan talks hit deadlock over number of states

Crunch talks to try and end six years of fighting in South Sudan have ended with no deal between the warring parties.

President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar have been in closed door meetings over the last two days in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to try and reach a deal before the expiry of 100 days extension they sought to form a transitional government.

But the latest round of talks have – unsurprisingly – ended with both sides failing to agree.

Their key difference is the number of states to be maintained in the country. The government wants to maintain 32 devolved states, while the rebels want a return to the much narrower system of governance involving 10 states.

The African Union and international partners have opposed any attempts by the sides to extend the period for the formation of the transitional government, threatening tough action against anyone obstructing the peace process.

South Sudan has been embroiled in conflict since 2013, during which tens of thousands of people have died and millions more displaced in a bloody civil war.

President Kiir and Machar could still sign a deal before the summit ends on Monday.


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