World Bulletin / News Desk
An African diplomat on Saturday admitted that a second round of peace talks between South Sudan's warring parties is facing a "serious crisis".
"The warring parties have not responded to the mediators' proposed framework of negotiation," the diplomat, who asked for anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
The diplomat said that representatives of President Salva Kiir and sacked vice president Riek Machar have not managed to meet face-to-face.
He said that Machar's forces have captured the strategic oil-producing Malakal, the capital of the Upper Nile State.
"It seems that the parties are preoccupied in matters of the battle fields," he said.
The diplomat, however, said that mediators still believe that "the framework prepared for the negotiations will be accepted by both parties and face-to-face talks will resume".
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since mid-December, when Kiir accused Machar of standing behind a failed coup attempt against his regime.
The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, while the UN estimates that some 3.7 million people in South Sudan are now "severely food insecure" and more than 820,000 have been displaced.
Following a month-long first round of talks in Addis Ababa, the warring rivals signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in January.
A second round of talks kicked off last Tuesday in the presence of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn. The two sides, however, have yet to engage in direct talks.Last Mod: 22 Şubat 2014, 17:41