U.S Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about U.S policy in Africa at the Gullele Botanic Park in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Saturday, May 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, pool)
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South Sudanese troops and rebels battled Monday, defying mounting pressure to end four months of civil war, with US Secretary of State John Kerry warning of "serious" implications if fighting continues.A government offensive to seize the key northern oil town of Bentiu from rebel forces raged Monday, days after Kerry flew to Juba to extract promises from South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to hold direct talks with rebel chief Riek Machar on ending the killings in the world's youngest nation.Although starting as a personal rivalry between Kiir and Machar -- who was sacked as vice president -- the conflict has seen armies divide along ethnic lines and fighting pitting members of Kiir's Dinka tribe against Machar's Nuer.The conflict erupted on December 15 with Kiir accusing Machar of attempting a coup.
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