South Sudan foes set to meet after two years
The two figures at the centre of the civil war that has ravaged South Sudan were scheduled to meet yesterday for the first time in nearly two years.
Ethiopia, which has helped broker the meeting, says rebel leader Riek Machar, who fled South Sudan in July 2016, is expected to meet face-to-face with the country's president, Salva Kiir.
Machar arrived in the Ethiopian capital yesterday morning for the talks, Menasseh Zindo, a senior official in his Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in Opposition (SPLM-IO) rebel group, told AFP. A foreign ministry spokesman confirmed his arrival.
The official scope of the talks is broad -- to build bridges between the two.
But analysts say the outcome remains unclear given their notoriously volatile relationship, and there is doubt whether the meeting will even take place.
Once comrades-in arms in the fight for independence, Kiir and Machar experienced a bitter falling out, a development that played a key part in the civil war that blights the future of the world's youngest state.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly a third of the 12 million population have been driven out of their homes, and many to the brink of starvation.