S Sudan rebel leader demands proper talks before any truce deal
London – South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar has said there must be proper negotiations before the rebels can agree to a truce with the government.
Machar statement came after the government agreed to an immediate end to fighting, the BBC reports.
The government has freed two of Machar’s allies from detention, partially meeting a rebel demand for the release of 11 coup plotters.
However, the fighting continued on Friday in the oil town of Malakal in Upper Nile State, the report added.
Clashes broke out between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and others backing his former deputy Macha on 15 December in the capital Juba, and have spread to oil-producing regions and beyond.
Kiir, a member of the Dinka ethnic group, has accused Machar, a Nuer who was sacked in July, of attempting to seize power by force.
Nearly 63,000 civilians were seeking protection at UN bases, while 1,000 people have already died in the fighting, the report added.
The first UN reinforcements have arrived to help control civilians seeking shelter at UN compounds, the report added.