Talks in Ethiopia to revive South Sudan’s failed 2015 peace pact and end the country’s civil war broke up 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 recommitting 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, just two years after independence, when a disagreement between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar deteriorated into a military confrontation.
Tens of thousands were killed by fighting between troops loyal to Kiir and forces loyal to Machar. The conflict left a quarter of the country’s population of 12 million either internally displaced or refugees in neighbouring countries.
IGAD’s statement did not say on which issues the two sides 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.”