South Sudan rebel leader in Kenya for talks

The leader of South Sudan`s rebels, former vice president Riek Machar, is in Nairobi for talks on regional efforts to end his country`s nearly six-month-old civil war, officials said Friday.

AFP| Updated: May 30, 2014, 15:56 PM IST

Nairobi: The leader of South Sudan`s rebels, former vice president Riek Machar, is in Nairobi for talks on regional efforts to end his country`s nearly six-month-old civil war, officials said Friday.

Machar met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday and was set for more talks on Friday, rebel spokesman Mabior Garang told AFP.
A statement from the Kenyan presidency said Machar had expressed "his desire to pursue peace for South Sudan", but gave no further details.

Machar`s rebels have been fighting forces loyal to President Salva Kiir since December 15, when fighting between rival army factions broke out in the capital Juba. The two sides agreed a ceasefire in January and again earlier this month, but the truces have not held.
The war in the world`s youngest nation has claimed thousands -- possibly tens of thousands -- of lives, with more than 1.3 million people forced to flee their homes. Some 75,000 people are also sheltering inside UN bases in fear of ethnic violence.

Peace talks are scheduled to resume in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa next Wednesday, with the East African regional bloc IGAD providing mediation.