S. Sudan's Kiir to visit Ethiopia today
Addis Ababa, 17 April 2014 (WIC) - South Sudanese President Salva Kiir will arrive in Addis Ababa on Thursday, a senior government official told Anadolu Agency.
He is expected to meet Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and envoys from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional trade bloc, the official said.
IGAD has been mediating peace talks between Kiir and sacked vice president Riek Machar to end months of deadly fighting in the world's newest state.
A senior South Sudanese official attributed Kiir's visit to the government's desire to ratchet up pressure on the opposition.
Earlier, Desalegn, who chairs IGAD, called Machar to urge him to refrain from making military moves on the ground, according to a source.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused Machar of trying to overthrow his regime.
The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, with the U.N. estimating that some one million South Sudanese have been displaced by the violence.
Following weeks of IGAD-mediated peace talks in Addis Ababa, the two sides signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in January.
They have yet to reach an agreement, however, to resolve the ongoing conflict. (turkishpress.com)
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