South Sudan rebel will do best to go to peace talks: U.N. chief

JUBA Tue May 6, 2014 10:06am EDT

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar gestures as he speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar gestures as he speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State February 1, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

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JUBA (Reuters) - The U.N. secretary-general said on Tuesday that South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar had been invited to Ethiopia for peace talks and that would "try his best" to go by the end of the week.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, the second world leader to visit Juba in less than a week to mediate between the warring sides, said he was told by Machar that his remote location could prevent him reaching Addis Ababa by May 9 - the date when he and President Salva Kiir had been asked to arrive.

"I expect the prime minister (of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Deslegn) will facilitate dialogue between the two leaders," Ban told a news conference in Juba, after saying Kiir had confirmed his readiness to meet Machar.

(Reporting by Andrew Green; Editing by Edmund Blair and Robin Pomeroy)

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