South Sudanese leaders in group hug


South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir and his rival, Riek Machar met face to face for the first time in nearly two years during a dinner hosted by Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Pictures released from the premier’s office showed the three leaders locked in a group hug smiling.  But delegates from the two sides says that a peace deal to end the conflict that erupted in 2013 is still far off.

Regional leaders have proposed another power sharing agreement that will see President Kiir retain his position while Mr Machar would resume his vice presidency duties.

The last deal, signed in August 2015, collapsed less than a year later, with both sides accused of violating the terms of a ceasefire and carrying out human rights abuses like massacres and rapes.

The United Nations, US and the African Union have all threatened punitive measures if the fighting does not stop by the end of this month.

Reports say thousands of people have died and more than four million others displaced since the fighting begun in December 2013.