Govt negotiators eye swift end to S. Sudan conflict

Chief negotiator Lueth told AA they hope to to bring peace back to the people of S. Sudan

Chief negotiator Lueth told AA they hope to to bring peace back to the people of S. Sudan

ADDIS ABABA – The South Sudanese government delegation to peace talks in Addis Ababa reiterated on Sunday a serious desire to see a swift settlement to the ongoing conflict in the nascent country.

"We have come with open heart and in pursuit of peace," Information Minister and chief negotiator Michael Makuei Lueth told Anadolu Agency after his arrival in the Ethiopian capital for a fresh round of peace talks with rebel negotiators.

"We want the talks to soon take up substantive issues," he said. "We want to bring peace back to our people."

"We also want the ceasefire that had been agreed on January 21 [to be] respected," added Lueth, referring to the cessation of hostilities deal mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

The two warring sides are scheduled to resume peace talks in Addis Ababa on Monday.

South Sudan dropped last treason charges against four politicians linked to the conflict, which flared up in mid-December after President Salva Kiir accused his sacked vice president Riek Machar of plotting a coup against him.

"Kiir ordered their release for the sake of peace," Lueth said.

The South Sudan conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, with the U.N. estimating that some one million South Sudanese have already been displaced by the fighting.

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