June 20, 2018 / 11:18 AM / 5 months ago

South Sudan president Kiir departs for Ethiopia ahead of peace talks

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit attends the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 28, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir left the capital on Wednesday and headed to Ethiopia ahead of a planned meeting with his rival and rebel leader Riek Machar ahead of planned talks to try to negotiate an end to a five-year-old civil war, an official said.

“IGAD has decided to call face-to-face dialogue between our president and Riek Machar on outstanding issues,” Awut Deng, a senior member of Kiir’s delegation, said before departing, referring to the regional East African bloc. “So we expect the face-to-face meeting between our president and Riek Machar will be today as scheduled by IGAD.”

Reporting by Denis Dumo; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Omar Mohammed

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