World Bulletin / News Desk
Kenya's President has named a special envoy to monitor the ongoing peace talks in Ethiopia between the South Sudanese government and rebels.
A statement released by the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit, said Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Dalmas Otieno as envoy after meeting seven South Sudanese detainees to whom Kenya granted asylum.
Otieno is accompanying the freed officials - associated with ousted vice president Riek Machar - to Addis Ababa, the venue of the talks.
The officials had been staying in Kenya since their release last month by South Sudan's President Salva Kiir.
The seven politicians were led to Kenyatta’s official residence by Rebecca Nyandeng, wife of South Sudan's late founder John Garang.
"We cannot thank you enough for the role Kenya has played in ensuring that we can start on the path of peace and political settlement,” Nyandeng told Kenyatta.
Kenyatta replied by saying, "It is in our interest that peace and stability is restored in your country and we will do everything we can to help.”
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused Machar of standing behind a failed coup attempt against his regime.
Following a month-long first round of talks, the two sides signed an agreement in January calling for a cessation of hostilities.
The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives. The UN estimates that some 3.7 million people in South Sudan are now "severely food insecure," while more than 820,000 have been displaced by the violenceLast Mod: 13 Şubat 2014, 11:35