South Sudan Rebels, Gov't Sign Ceasefire

First sign of progress after five weeks of warfare
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 23, 2014 12:12 PM CST
South Sudan Rebels, Gov't Sign Ceasefire
A South Sudanese government soldier stands guard as a delegation of visiting officials leaves from the airport in Malakal, Upper Nile State, in South Sudan Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.   (AP Photo/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)

South Sudan's government and the rebels fighting it have signed a cessation of hostilities agreement that should at the least put a pause to five weeks of warfare. Negotiators for the two sides have been meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for weeks. Today's signing was the first real progress made. The agreement should put an end to violence that has claimed thousands of lives and uprooted a half-million people since fighting began Dec. 15 between the government and supporters of former Vice President Riek Machar. A technical team has been set up to follow the implementation of the agreement. The agreement gives the world's newest nation "a second chance," says an Oxfam official. (More South Sudan stories.)

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