Saturday, May 10, 2014

South Sudan rivals Kiir and Machar agree peace deal

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar have agreed a peace deal after a five-month conflict. According to BBC, the deal calls for an immediate truce and the formation of a transitional government ahead of the drafting of a new constitution and new elections. The conflict in the world's newest state has left thousands dead and more than one million homeless. US Secretary of State John Kerry said the deal "could mark a breakthrough for the future of South Sudan". "The hard journey on a long road begins now and the work must continue," added Kerry, who had played an instrumental role in bringing together the two sides in the conflict. "I saw with my own eyes last week the stakes and the struggles in a new nation we helped courageous people create. The people of South Sudan have suffered too much for far too long."  The rivals signed the deal in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa late on Friday, after their first face-to-face meeting since the hostilities began. The agreement calls for a cessation of hostilities within 24 hours of the signing. A permanent ceasefire will then be worked on. Kiir and Machar are to issue immediate orders for troops to end combat and to allow in humanitarian aid. The deal was also signed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who hosted the talks. Leading mediator Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, from the regional IGAD bloc, congratulated Kiir and Machar for "ending the war". South Sudan gained independence in 2011, breaking away from Sudan after decades of conflict between rebels and the Khartoum government.  Source ( Walta )


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