State of emergency declared in South Sudan’s two states ahead of talks

Eurasia News

JUBA: A state of emergency has been declared in Unity and Jonglei states of South Sudan by President Salva Kiir, while talks between the government and rebels are being held in Ethiopia on Thursday, Dispatch News Desk reported.

The announcement came after rebel forces loyal to former deputy president Riek Machar took control of Bantio, the capital city of the oil-producing Unity State, and the strategic town of Bor, the capital of Jonglei State,

Meanwhile, talks between the South Sudan government and rebels to find a solution to nearly three weeks of conflict that has left thousands killed and displaced around 200,000 people are being held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Thursday.

In a statement, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has called for an end to fighting in the country‚ and for peace talks to be given a chance.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned of a growing risk of disease outbreaks in South Sudan due to the ongoing violence in the country.

The fighting broke out in South Sudan on December 15, 2013 after the president Salva Kiir accused a group of disgruntled soldiers and politicians led by Riek Machar of attempting to overthrow the government in the capital Juba.