In the photo of March 4, 2015, mothers sit with their children waiting to receive malnutrition assistance in the Nile west bank village of Lul South Sudan's Upper Nile state.(AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)
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South Sudan's army Wednesday dismissed as "propaganda" rebel claims of a food blockade aimed at starving them into submission ahead of peace talks to end the 19-month civil war.Army spokesman Philip Aguer denied it had blockaded boats travelling on the Nile river, the main route for aid into the largely roadless northern areas, including areas under rebel control.The rebels accuse the government of using aid restrictions as a tool to weaken them.South Sudan's civil war began in December 2013 when Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that has split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.
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