South Sudan rebel leader vows to bring down government

[Photo: articles.washingtonpost.com]

More than 10,000 people have been killed in fighting in South Sudan

South Sudan rebel leader, Riek Machar, has vowed to continue fighting President Salva Kiir until the government collapses, sparking concern over the progress of peace talks in Addis Ababa.

Mr. Machar said in an interview with the South Sudanese Website Upper Nile Times published on Wednesday that “there will be an end to this problem when Kiir leaves the presidency.”

The power struggle turned violent in mid-December, as fighting broke out between Mr. Machar’s and Kiir’s ethnic groups – the Nuers and the Dinkas.

No fewer than 10,000 people have been killed, the International Crisis Group said, adding that more than 400,000 others had fled the country.

Mr. Machar’s comments came shortly after East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) cancelled a summit scheduled for Thursday to discuss conditions for a ceasefire.

IGAD is mediating in peace talks which stalled over the rebel demand that Mr. Kiir must release 11 of Mr. Machar supporters, accused of plotting a coup.

Meanwhile, Kenya said it would reject a UN request to help to add more than 5,500 peacekeepers to the 7,000 currently present in South Sudan.

Its Foreign Minister, Amina Mohammed, said the UN Security Council had approached several countries and some had already accepted to assist.

(dpa/NAN)


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