President Salva Kiir has declared a state of emergency in Jonglei and Unity states.
The two states are reportedly under the command of rebel forces in Bor and Bentiu towns.
The government spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth, told Eye Radio that the state of emergency has been declared to enable the government to manage areas affected by the crisis.
The decree covers only the two states that the rebels have seized.
“When you declare a state of emergency, it means you will set up an emergency government, you give extraordinary powers to the government so that they can manage the situation,” Mr Makuei said.
The minister said that fighting is still going on in some parts of the country despite the call made by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development for the two parties to declare a ceasefire.
He added that the government delegation left Juba for talks in Addis Ababa today.
“We are going to continue with the talks because we want peace for our people even though the rebel groups have not accepted a cessation of hostilities and they want us to start talking while the fighting is still going,” Mr Makuei added.
Thousands of people have fled Jonglei town in the recent clashes.
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