South Sudan: Rebels Say 'No Shortcut to Peace' Following Meeting With President Salva Kiir

Salva Kiir (left) and Riek Machar (Right)

President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Machar met to discuss peace in South Sudan, but the rebels say it's "unrealistic." The war in South Sudan has continued since the two fell out in 2013, sparking violence.

South Sudan's rebel leader, Riek Machar, and the country's president, Salva Kiir, concluded their first talks in almost two years on Thursday, aimed at bringing peace to the region.

Details of the talks are not yet known, but the rebels have released a statement saying they need more time.

What the two sides said

An opposition statement by Mabior Garang on Thursday called the meeting "cordial" and said the two sides discussed the prospects for peace "in broad terms," but that peace deal remained unlikely for the time being.

The opposition warned that the current model for the peace process is "unrealistic" and that "there is no shortcut to peace."

"For any meaningful dialogue to take place, it should be within the context of a comprehensive political settlement, so that the guns can fall silent and a conducive environment for dialogue established," the opposition said.

A Kiir spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, had on Wednesday said "anything that brings peace in South Sudan is wanted." However, a South Sudanese government official later said that President Kiir was "not ready in any way" to work with Machar "in the next transitional period."

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