A spokesman for rebels in South Sudan charges the government is delaying peace talks because it is in a stronger position after winning back rebel-held territory.

Mabior De Garang said Wednesday the government keeps changing the dates for talks in Ethiopia because “they feel they are now strong so they don’t really need the peace process.”

U.N. and U.S. officials have urged a speedy cease-fire agreement though little progress has been made in two weeks of talks while fighting has continued.

Thousands have been killed and half a million people have been forced from their homes since fighting broke out Dec. 15 between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and followers of Riek Machar, the vice president he fired.

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