Jikany Nuer White Army fighters hold their weapons in Upper Nile State, February 10, 2014.
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South Sudanese rebels threatened on Monday to boycott the next round of peace talks in Ethiopia unless the government freed political prisoners and sent home the Ugandan troops who have been supporting it.But the regional IGAD bloc mediating the talks, due to resume on Tuesday, said rebel leader Riek Machar had agreed to have his delegation take part in the talks. The Addis Ababa talks, which secured a ceasefire last month, aim to end a conflict that has claimed the lives of thousands of people and displaced more than half a million South Sudanese since it broke out on Dec. 15 . The rebels said they wanted four remaining political prisoners held by the Juba government to be released and the Ugandan army, which has been backing President Salva Kiir, to withdraw from South Sudan. However, Seyoum added that the former prisoners did not wish to side with the rebels or the government and might instead form a "third block" in the talks.
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