May 23, 2018 / 8:07 PM / in a month

South Sudan peace talks end without deal: mediators

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Talks in Ethiopia to revive South Sudan’s failed 2015 peace pact and end the country’s civil war broke up on Wednesday without a deal, mediators said, potentially prolonging a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

Regional grouping IGAD has been helping to mediate and get South Sudan’s warring parties to agree again on power sharing and security arrangements, crucial steps for recommiting to the 2015 agreement and ending the war.

In a statement IGAD said the talks ended on Wednesday after “several attempts to narrow the gaps between the positions of the parties” proved fruitless.

South Sudan plunged into war in December 2013, barely two years after independence from Sudan, after a disagreement between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar deteriorated into a military confrontation.

Tens of thousands have been killed by the fighting between troops loyal to Kiir and forces loyal to Machar. The conflict has also left a quarter of the country’s population of 12 million either internally displaced or as refugees in neighboring countries.

IGAD’s statement did not mention on which issues the two sides had failed to reach agreement but encouraged them to consider the group’s proposals, which “reflect a considered effort to identify common ground between the different negotiating positions.”

Reporting by Aaron Maasho; additional reporting by Denis Dumo; writing by Elias Biryabarema; editing by Susan Fenton

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