South Sudan's stalled peace talks are expected to get back under way next week, the regional bloc brokering the slow-moving negotiations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), said Wednesday.
"All the stakeholders have reiterated their commitment to the negotiation process, which is tentatively scheduled to commence on 30th July, 2014 to 10th August 2014," IGAD said in a statement.
"The agenda of the next session will be to finalize and sign the Cessation of Hostilities Matrix and negotiation on details of the Transitional Government of National Unity," it said.
The IGAD-led peace process has so far produced a cessation of hostilities agreement, but it was violated almost as soon as it was signed in January.
President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar recommitted to the ceasefire deal in May, and in June agreed to "end the war and to establish a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) that will offer the best chance for the people of South Sudan to take the country forward," IGAD recalled in the statement. Since then, however, fresh fighting has erupted around the country.
The transitional government was supposed to be set up within 60 days of June 10, when the warring South Sudanese sides agreed to it. That would put the deadline for setting it up at August 8.
But that deadline is likely to be missed because the peace talks stalled 10 days after Mr Kiir and Machar agreed to the 60-day timeframe, and the two sides have not met since then.
A round of peace talks that was supposed to start in late June never got off the ground because the opposition refused to take part.
Opposition spokesman Hussein Mar Nyuot said at the time that his side did not attend the opening session of the talks in Addis Ababa because IGAD had ignored a request that stakeholder groups that have fled South Sudan or are based outside Juba be allowed to take part in the talks.