South Sudan rebel leader says government wants to derail peace talks

by Reuters
Friday, 31 January 2014 15:54 GMT

JONGLEI STATE, South Sudan, Jan 31 (Reuters) - South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar said on Friday the government's threat to charge him with treason was an attempt to scuttle peace talks, and called on President Salva Kiir to resign after weeks of fighting in the country.

"I am not aware of why we should face those charges for an alleged coup that never happened," Machar told Reuters in an interview in his bush hideout in South Sudan's Jonglei state. "(It) is another attempt to stop peace talks."

"It would be best for Kiir to resign. We are due for elections in 2015. Before the elections, there would be an interim government," Machar said. (Reporting by Goran Tomasevic; Editing by Richard Lough)

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