South Sudan government agrees to ceasefire
Friday 27 December 2013
Hopes of an end to hostilities in South Sudan were raised on Friday when the government agreed to a ceasefire.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in fighting between the government and rebels since 15 December when violent clashes began in the capital, Juba.
Neighbouring countries have been anxious to bring the violence to an end and at a meeting in Kenya the South Sudan government agreed to a ceasefire.
During the talks held by East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the region’s leaders called for peace but issued a strong statement of support for the South Sudan government. Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan President, said, “Let it be known we in IGAD will not accept the unconstitutional overthrow of a duly and democratically elected government in South Sudan.”
Despite the ceasefire announcement there were doubts about its effectiveness. The rebels had not been invited to the summit and their leader, Riek Machar, told the BBC that conditions for a truce had not been met.
He has demanded 11 political allies accused of plotting a coup be released before he is prepared to end his rebellion. So far, the South Sudan government said it was ready to release eight.
The violence has become increasingly divided along ethnic lines with the Dinka people, of whom President Salva Kiir is one, being accused of targeting the Nuers, who include Malchar.
The announcement of a ceasefire came shortly after government forces captured the town of Malakal and prepared to assault rebel-held Bentiu, the capital of the oil-producing Unity region. Most of South Sudan’s oil production has been shut down by the fighting.
- 2 Question Time's 'passionate highlander' is the William Wallace of the Better Together campaign
- 3 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Question Time's 'passionate highlander' is the William Wallace of the Better Together campaign
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...