BBC News is reporting that thousands of people are fleeing the South Sudanese city of Bentiu amid fears of a government move to recapture the oil-rich area from rebels, says BBC reporter Alastair Leithead.
Leithead reported that many people are taking refuge in a UN base in Bentiu. Ceasefire talks taking place in Ethiopia are cautiously proceeding.
Al Jazeera is reporting that South Sudan’s government said it was poised to recapture a key town, Bor, from rebel forces. The Al Jazeera reporter writes:
“Delegates from both sides held a second day of formal talks on Tuesday at a luxury hotel in Addis Ababa, although a brief morning session was adjourned with members of the government delegation heading back to Juba for “consultations” with President Salva Kiir.
‘So far, there is progress because so far now there is no disagreement,’ rebel spokesman Hussein Mar Nyot told AFP, adding the negotiations would resume on Wednesday.
Chief government delegate Nhial Deng Nhial said there was ‘a hiccup that threatens to scuttle the negotiations’ – the status of detainees loyal to Kiir’s rival Riek Machar, a former vice president and nominal rebel leader – but that negotiations would continue.
The talks, brokered by the East African regional bloc IGAD, are aimed at ending more than three weeks of fighting in the world’s newest nation. The conflict has left thousands dead, according to UN officials, while more than 200,000 people have been displaced or have fled the country.”