South Sudan’s government and rebels are set for New Year’s Day peace talks in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to resolve a ceasefire to end weeks of bloodletting in the world’s newest state.
Both sides agreed to a ceasefire on Tuesday, mediators said, but fighting between government troops and fighters loyal to former vice president, Riek Machar raged in Bor, the capital of the vast Jonglei state.
“I’m worried that the continued fighting in Bor might scupper the start of these talks,” said Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, who is chairman of the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) bloc that is mediating the talks.
“Hopefully both delegations will arrive tomorrow [Wednesday], start the talks and settle this problem once and for all,” Adhanom told Reuters news agency by phone from Addis Ababa.
East African leaders have been leading mediation efforts to end the crisis.
On Monday, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni threatened the rebels with military action if they failed to agree to a ceasefire by the end of Tuesday, and begin talks