South Sudan begins peace talks after thousands killed in violence

After the deadly ethnic violence in which thousands of people are reported dead, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Thursday started crisis talks with neighbouring countries Kenya and Ethopia.

By Himanshu Kapoor | Last Updated: Dec 26, 2013, 19:22 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Himanshu Kapoor

Juba: After the deadly violence in which thousands of people are reported dead, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Thursday started crisis talks with neighbouring countries Kenya and Ethopia.

The talks are aimed at stopping the violence in the world`s youngest nation which raises the fear of civil war.

In an attempt to mediate a resolution, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn travelled to Juba, South Sudan`s capital. Officials have also confirmed that several leaders of East African nations will meet in Juba for talks over resolving the crisis in South Sudan.

Kiir`s rival, former vice president, Riek Machar, also expressed willingness to negotiate an end to the fighting. Accusing Kiir of being dictatorial, Machar is demanding that the president must step down.
Kiir who is an ethnic Dinka, while Mr Machar represents the Nuer tribe are involved in a power struggle with each other.
The ongoing fighting has exposed ethnic divisions in the world`s youngest state. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a video and radio message said that UN would stand with the people of South Sudan. He also pointed out that targeting of civilians based on ethnicity as a "grave violation of human rights."