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South Sudan president fails to sign proposed peace deal with rebels

Kena Betancur, Getty Images, AFP file picture | South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir in New York City on September 27, 2014

South Sudan President Salva Kiir failed to sign a peace deal proposed by regional leaders on Monday, saying he required more time, the mediator of the crisis said.

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Seyoum Mesfin, the mediator for the regional group IGAD, said Kiir’s side required two weeks before signing the peace deal that was accepted by the South Sudanese rebels.

“In the next 15 days, the government will come back to Addis Ababa to finalise the peace agreement,” Seyoum said.

Numerous rounds of negotiations have failed to end hostilities that have killed over 10,000 people and displaced more than 2 million, with both sides engaged in a war of attrition despite signing ceasefire deals.

South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, descended into chaos in December 2013 when a political row between Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar spiralled into armed conflict that reopened ethnic faultlines.

Last month, IGAD - the East African bloc mediating the talks - gave both sides what it called a compromise pact on power-sharing and other contentious issues, proposing a three-year interim period as a solution to the conflict while setting Aug. 17 as the deadline to end the drawn-out talks.

(REUTERS)

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