South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks after meeting with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Ali Ngethi)
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Mediators seeking to end fierce fighting in South Sudan have made "progress" in negotiating a ceasefire, a US official said Wednesday, adding differences still remained over releasing political prisoners.The negotiators and western diplomats, led by the United States, have been pressuring Kiir's government to free the men to boost the peace talks being held in Ethiopia.The unrest erupted on December 15 as a clash between rival army units loyal to Kiir and Machar, and has escalated into war between government troops and a loose alliance of ethnic militia forces and mutinous army commanders.A rebel spokesman indicated that there would be no imminent truce in the country unless the government freed the group of alleged coup plotters.
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