Taban Deng Gai, chief negotiator of the rebel group, known as SPLA-IO addresses a news conference after arriving in the South Sudan's capital Juba, December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Jok Solomun
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Ceasefire monitors in South Sudan welcomed the first meeting of rebel and government representatives in the capital Tuesday aimed at ending the civil war but warned of "empty gestures".President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar have repeatedly accused each other of breaking successive peace deals but say they remain committed to the Aug. 26 agreement, despite missing every listed deadline. On Monday, an advance team of rebel delegates arrived in Juba, tasked with beginning the formation of a transitional government of national unity -- but did not include Machar.Fighting continues, and the conflict now involves multiple militia forces who pay little heed to paper peace deals, driven by local agendas or revenge attacks.
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