South Sudan: Government and rebels sign truce after five weeks of violence and 1,000 deaths


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The Independent Online

Government and rebel leaders in South Sudan have signed a ceasefire – the first step towards peace in the country after five weeks of violence in which more than 1,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands forced from their homes.

Fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing his former vice-president, Riek Machar, who was sacked last July, erupted in December.

Government forces have retaken rebel-held towns in recent days, while talks have been taking place in Ethiopia.

A technical team has been set up to follow the implementation of the agreement.

Jose Barahona, the country director for Oxfam, said the agreement gives the world's newest nation "a second chance."