ADDIS ABABA--The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an eight-nation Horn of Africa bloc, has brought together South Sudan's warring parties to discuss governance and security issues ahead of a new round of peace talks scheduled for Thursday.

According to IGAD, the consultation session in Addis Ababa on Tuesday and Wednesday provided South Sudanese parties with key information to enable them to identify optimal security arrangements, power-sharing options and challenges associated with a Transitional Government of National Unity.

It is "an opportunity for the key representatives of the parties, leading on governance and security issues, to revisit general principles and practices relating to governance and security issues during political transitions," and IGAD statement said.

The IGAD Director of Peace and Security Division, Tewolde Gebremeskel, told representatives of the South Sudanese warring parties that the seminar on governance and security was organized in order to support the parties' deliberations during the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) beginning on Thursday.

"In the intervening period between Phase II of the HLRF and today, IGAD Council of Ministers have been engaging with your respective parties in Juba, Addis Ababa, and Pretoria, in order to bridge the gaps in your divergent views on the outstanding substantive issues," Gebremeskel said.

The session on South Sudan's governance system and security situations will be followed by a new HLRF aimed at bring about a peace agreement among the warring parties towards ending the conflict in the world's youngest nation, according to IGAD.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 following a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy president-turned-rebe- chief Riek Machar led to split within the SPLA, leaving soldiers to fight alongside ethnic lines.

The 2015 peace agreement to end the conflict was weakened after the outbreak of renewed fighting in July 2016 caused the SPLA-in opposition rebel leader Machar to flee the capital.