The UN envoy for South Sudan says he hopes “some form of agreement” will be signed Friday in Ethiopia’s capital where talks are taking place aimed at ending the country’s five-year civil war.

David Shearer told reporters Thursday that “it might not go quite as far as we all would have hoped, but it might provide the platform for ongoing discussions.”

Shearer says the Ethiopian-led talks “didn’t start well” last week, but over the last three days the parties have split into smaller groups “and there appears to be quite a bit more progress.” He says the two issues being discussed are security and constitutional and governance matters.

The negotiations are backed by the African Union and the regional group IGAD.

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