Talks with South Sudan’s Kiir productive, Dr Tedros

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Addis Ababa, December 21 (WIC) - African mediators trying to avert civil war in South Sudan say they have held "productive" talks with President Salva Kiir.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom said consultations were continuing, but did not give details.

On Friday, President Kiir met foreign ministers from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda who had travelled to the capital Juba to mediate in the crisis.
He told them he agreed to "unconditional dialogue" to stop the violence.

"We had a very productive meeting with his Excellency President Salva Kiir and we will continue consultations," Dr. Tedros, who led the delegation, told reporters before returning to the talks.

Clashes began a week ago when President Kiir accused his former deputy, Riek Machar, of a failed coup.

Hundreds of people have already died in fighting across the country.

Although Mr Kiir has said he is ready for dialogue, Mr Machar told French radio he was only ready to "negotiate his [Salva Kiir's] departure from power".

The IGAD ministerial delegation also had a meeting with Madam Rebecca Garang, widow of John Garang, and is currently one of the Advisors for the President.

“[South Sudan] paid dearly to achieve its independence. What South Sudan deserves now is not conflict, bloodshed and poverty. It deserves peace and development,” Dr Tedros wrote on his official Facebook page.

“We hope our South Sudanese brothers and sisters will put their country and its people above anything,” the minister said expressing the commitment of IGAD countries to help South Sudan overcome the current problem and “bring lasting political solution”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also sent a special envoy led by Ambassador Donald Booth, former US ambassador to Ethiopia, following a phone conversation President Kiir on Thursday.

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