Saturday, December 28, 2013

South Sudan: Government offers ceasefire agreement to Machar rebels


The government of South Sudan said on its Twitter feed on Friday that it “agreed in principle to a ceasefire to begin immediately, but our forces are prepared to defend themselves if attacked.”

It came after a meeting of East African leaders in Nairobi on Friday, who urged South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar to meet face-to-face and try to resolve their differences.

It follows the deaths of at least 1,000 people in December, during a wave of violence between the rival forces loyal to Kiir and his deposed former deputy, Machar. Kiir had accused Machar of attempting a coup against his government. There have also been concerns the conflict has moved away from being primarily political and has taken on ethnic dimensions, with the two men hailing from rival tribes.

The UN has sent peacekeepers and agreed earlier in the week to roughly double the number of troops present as the fighting continued. Similarly, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sent special representative Alex Rondos to South Sudan this week, to seek a political solution to the conflict.

The News: … ar-rebels/a-17327795



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