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South Sudan Peace Talks Deadlocked

A mother carrying her baby in a basket is screened for malnutrition at a joint UNICEF-World Food Program Rapid Response Mission, which delivers critical supplies and services to those displaced by conflict, in Nyanapol, South Sudan, March 3, 2015.

The latest round of peace talks between the two warring parties in South Sudan has come to a standstill, as President Salva Kiir and his rival former vice president, Riek Machar, failed to agree on any of the major outstanding issues.

The East African regional bloc, IGAD, which is mediating the talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, had set a Thursday deadline for the two sides to iron out their differences. The group said the talks would continue Friday on issues such as power sharing.

IGAD had hoped to help establish a transitional government by April.

The threat of U.N. sanctions now hangs over Kiir and Machar, as the U.N. Security Council this week unanimously approved creation of a system to impose sanctions on those blocking peace in their country.

Fighting broke out in South Sudan in December 2013 when Kiir accused his dismissed deputy of attempting a coup.

The fighting in South Sudan has killed thousands of people, displaced nearly 2 million and left another 4 million people dependent on food assistance.

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