South Sudan rebel leader Machar arrives in Ethiopia for talks to end civil war

FILE PHOTO: South Sudan's opposition leader Riek Machar speaks during a briefing ahead of his return to South Sudan as vice president, in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa April 9, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

Ethiopia- A rebel spokesman and an Ethiopian official said South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar arrived in Ethiopia on Wednesday for a meeting with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, as part of talks to try to negotiate an end to a five-year-old civil war.

Rebel spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel referring to Machar said, “Yes, I can confirm to you that our chairman has arrived in Addis Ababa airport this morning,” Machar had been held under house arrest in South Africa since late 2016 after fleeing South Sudan.

A Ethiopian government official also confirmed Machar’s arrival, he included that the Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed would meet him before the talks.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Meles Alem said,  “Riek Machar has arrived.”

The two leaders are expected to meet at the end of Wednesday, this will be the first between the two since a peace deal between the government and rebel leader Machar, whose group fell apart in August 2016.

The civil war broke out in 2013, that has killed thousands of people when troops loyal to Machar, the former vice president of South Sudan, when on the attcak to rebel against the government.

The civil war has become a complex and complicated diplomatic crisis, as the UN has blamed all sides for human rights violations and committing atrocities against civilians.

Photo Credit- REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo


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