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South Sudan’s rival leaders declare permanent ceasefire after Khartoum declaration

President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in Khartoum on 26 June 2018 (Photo SUNA)
June 29, 2018 (JUBA)- The two main rival leaders in South Sudan have issued separate orders declaring permanent ceasefire following the signing of the peace agreement which they have signed.

President Salva Kiir, SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar, and other stakeholders signed on Wednesday the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement in which among others, they commit themselves to implement a permanent ceasefire within 75 hours.

President Kiir on Friday evening issued an order committing him and his administration to respect the terms of the pact, directing all military leadership to ensure all heads of different commands and units observe the order and implement without hesitation.

Machar, on the other hand, issued an order, directing all forces under his command and leadership all over the country to cease all hostilities, provide safe passage to civilians and Nongovernmental organizations or NGOs and only act on self-defence when attacked by forces hostile to them.

The orders shall come into effect from 00:1 hours midnight on 30th June 2018. Many express hopes and described the issuance of the orders declaring permanent ceasefire by both rival leaders a “remarkable gesture of commitment to the pact they signed.

However, the SPLM-IO office in Yei River State said the government forces on Friday morning at 9:00 am attacked their position at Kendiri in Kajo-Keji County adding they repulsed the assailants.

"This aggression puts the seriousness of Juba towards a return of normalcy into question as it is violating a confidence-building document Kiir himself signed in Khartoum".

(ST)