January 23, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan government and its rebels have agreed on a ceasefire, which could end over a month of fighting in the country.
The two factions, comprising of representatives from government and rebels loyal to the country’s former vice-president Riek Machar, have for the last three weeks been negotiating in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, under the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), but with very little progress.
- IGAD mediators and South Sudan’s negotiating teams at the signing of the ceasefire agreement in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 23 January 2014 (Photo courtesy of IGAD/CEWARN)
The talks also took longer than expected as rebels questioned Uganda’s involvement in the conflict as well as the fate of the 11 political prisoners in connection with last year’s outbreak of violence.
“We hope the guns will fall silent before even before 24 hours,” Tewolde Gebremeskal, IGAD’s peace and security director said shortly before the signing of the agreement.
An estimated over 1,000 people were killed and about half a million displaced as a result of the conflict, according to the United Nations.
More details on the agreement signing to follow shortly