ADDIS ABABA, May 9 (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar, rebel leader and a former vice president, signed an agreement here on Friday to resolve the months-long crisis in which thousands have died.
The meeting, facilitated by Ethiopian Prime Minister and current Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Assembly Hailemariam Dessalegn, was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since the conflict between government troops and rebel factions began in mid-December, 2013.
The agreement contains a commitment to an immediate cessation of hostilities within 24 hours of the signing and a rededication to the cessation of hostilities agreement signed on Jan. 23, 2014 in Addis Ababa.
The two leaders have also pledged to freeze forces in their current locations and refrain from any provocative action or combat movement until a permanent ceasefire is agreed.
Reading out the agreement at the signing ceremony, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, chairperson of the IGAD Envoys, said the two sides recognize that there is no military solution to the crisis in South Sudan and that a sustainable peace can be achieved only through inclusive political dialogue.
They have further committed to unconditionally cooperating with the full operationalization of the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) as well as to facilitating unhindered humanitarian access to all populations affected by the conflict.
Both Kiir and Machar expressed commitment to the agreement.
South Sudan's rival leaders to meet in Ethiopian capital
ADDIS ABABA, May 9 (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit and rebel leader Riek Machar, who was a former vice president, are due to meet face to face in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital.
The meeting between the two leaders has been scheduled for Friday and Machar arrived Thursday in Addis Ababa. Full story
U.S. hails cease-fire deal in South Sudan
WASHINGTON, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Friday applauded a cease-fire agreement reached between South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, calling for its "full" implementation.
"Today's agreement to immediately stop the fighting in South Sudan and to negotiate a transitional government could mark a breakthrough for the future of South Sudan," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. Full story