World Bulletin/News Desk
South Sudanese government representatives in ongoing peace talks with the rebels in Addis Ababa expect a deal on cessation of hostilities soon.
Michael Mackue told a press briefing in the Ethiopian capital that his delegation expects a deal to be signed "in the coming few days."
Cessation of hostilities is one of two agenda items tabled in the talks mediated by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Mackue, however, said his delegation won't accept the second agenda item - release of political detainees - as a precondition for a ceasefire deal.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since mid-December, when President Salva Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of standing behind a failed coup attempt against his regime.
A subsequent government crackdown landed many of Machar's supporters in jail, but the former VP managed to flee to Jonglei State, a stronghold of his Nuer tribe.
More than 1,000 people have reportedly been killed in the recent unrest in South Sudan and over 180,000 displaced.
The two warring rivals started IGAD-brokered peace talks in Addis Ababa in December in an attempt to resolve the crisis.
A diplomatic source close to the talks told Anadolu Agency Friday that talks had hit snags after Kiir agreed to release detained Machar supporters, but barred them from leaving Juba.
An African mediation team, which met with Kiir in Juba last week, had asked him to release those arrested since mid-December.Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2014, 14:16