JOHANNESBURG – Fresh talks on the crisis in South Sudan have begun in Ethiopia.

Pressure is mounting on leaders to take stronger action to end the country’s four-year civil war.

The talks in Addis Ababa have been convened by the East African bloc IGAD to push the warring sides back to the negotiating table after the 2015 peace deal collapsed.

Along with this, the United States has banned the export of weapons and defence services to South Sudan.

This has stepped up pressure and signalled that many are losing patience with the young nation’s leaders after repeated agreements to end the violence.

Further sanctions are planned if they don’t agree to move forward with peace efforts.

“The cessation of hostilities agreement has outlined the measures and these measures include travel bans in the region for parties that continue to jeopardize the peace process in South Sudan, and it includes asset freeze and also restrictions on flow of weapons to the country and we believe these are the measures that have been accepted in the cessation of hostilities agreement,” said Ethiopia’s foreign minister Workneh Gebeyehu.

The war began in 2013 between soldiers of President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and his former vice president, Riek Machar, a Nuer.

Tens of thousands have died and a third of South Sudan’s 12 million population have fled their homes