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US pushing for South Sudan ceasefire talks

Published on Dec 31, 2013 6:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) is pushing to get rival South Sudanese leaders to the negotiating table and end two weeks of bloodshed, but the situation remains complicated, a US official said on Monday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken almost every day over the past week with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir as well as sacked vice president Riek Machar in a bid to ease the tensions.

And special US envoy Donald Booth was on Monday in the capital, Juba, having spent Christmas in the region, trying "to finalise the details of a political dialogue, hopefully to arrange for negotiations to begin in the coming days", State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

"But it's a very complicated, tenuous situation."

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