Addis Ababa: Peace talks between South Sudan`s government and rebels aimed at ending a four-month-old civil war resumed in the Ethiopian capital on Monday, regional mediators said.
"The South Sudan peace talks that focus on a political dialogue for national reconciliation and healing resumed in Addis Ababa today following the arrival of all parties," a statement from the IGAD regional bloc said.
The talks began shortly after the conflict broke out in mid-December, and resulted in a ceasefire being signed in late January -- although it was quickly violated.
The current round of talks, which have been on hold for several weeks, are aimed at addressing the deeper causes of the civil war in the world`s youngest nation, which won independence from Khartoum in 2011.
The resumption of talks comes amid mounting global outrage over a wave of atrocities committed by both sides in the conflict, with both government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels backing ex-vice president Riek Machar implicated in massacres, rapes, attacks on UN bases and child soldier recruitment.
Aid workers are also warning that the country is at risk from famine.
The conflict has left thousands and possibly tens of thousands of people dead, and forced over one million to flee their homes. More than 78,000 civilians are currently crammed into eight UN bases in the country, while thousands have fled to neighbouring states, mainly Uganda and Ethiopia.
The violence has taken on an ethnic dimension, pitting Kiir`s Dinka tribe against militia forces from Machar`s Nuer people.