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 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 4 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 5 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Germanwings plane crash: Transcript reveals passengers 'screamed for over five minutes' before plane crashed into mountain
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...