South Sudan Rebel Leader Says He's Ready to Deal

If his allies are released


South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar told Reuters on Monday he was ready to negotiate with President Salva Kiir to bring an end to the nine-day conflict if Kiir first released his detained political allies.

The U.S. special envoy to South Sudan, Donald Booth, said Kiir was committed to opening talks with Machar.

Information Minister Michael Makuei immediately dismissed the demands made by Machar, who was South Sudan's vice president until Kiir sacked him in July. "There is no way we will release anybody who is accused of a coup d'etat," Makuei told Reuters.