South Sudanese civilians are seen at an internally displaced persons' camp run by the United Nations in Juba on January 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLE SOBECKI
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South Sudan's government and rebels were locked in fierce battles across the country on Wednesday, as peace talks taking place in neighboring Ethiopia appeared to flounder.A rebel spokesman indicated that there would be no imminent truce in the country unless the government freed a group of top allies who were detained after the fighting began more than three week ago. Fighting was also taking place in the oil-producing Upper Nile State, while the rebels said more troops previously based in Juba had defected from the government side and could launch an assault on the capital.The fighting began on December 15 as a clash between army units loyal to South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and those loyal to ex-vice president Riek Machar, and has escalated into war between government troops and a loose alliance of ethnic militia forces and mutinous army commanders.
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