BREAKING NEWS: Kiir and Machar agree to ceasefire

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January 18, 2014 [Addis Ababa] –South Sudan’s government headed by Salva Kiir and opposition forces led by Riek Machar have accepted a ceasefire agreement after negotiations in Addis Ababa, top sources in both Juba and the Ethiopian capital told Radio Tamazuj.

Under the terms of the agreement the soldiers of both the national army and the opposition must stop fighting. The agreement will lead to further negotiations on how to resolve the crisis that started more than a month ago in South Sudan.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation team handed over a final draft agreement on a cessation of hostilities to the two warring parties on Friday evening and expected them to respond on Saturday either yes or no, without allowing the opportunity for further negotiation or comment.

Yohannes Musa, assistant spokesman of the delegation of the opposition in Addis Ababa, explained that the document includes four points.

First, they agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities.  Second, they agree to stop media campaigns and propaganda statements against each other. Third, they agree to allow humanitarian access to assist victims of the conflict.  Fourth, they agree on the withdrawal of foreign troops from South Sudan, namely the Ugandan army.

Musa told Radio Tamazuj at midday on Saturday that the group led by Riek Machar expressed their approval of the document. He said they were waiting for the approval of the other party, and expects the head of their delegation to arrive back in Addis Ababa on Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Nhial-TabanFD825B0E-FCF0-490B-8E15-C391C9B2FF66_w640_r1_sNhial Deng, the head of the government delegation, held consultations in Juba on Saturday with President Salva Kiir, along with Information Minister Michael Makuei, the president’s spokesman told Radio Tamazuj at 2:15 p.m.

He confirmed that the government has agreed to the ceasefire, saying he expected it to be signed tonight by the head negotiator Nhial Deng after his return to Addis Ababa.

Yien Matthew, another member of the opposition delegation, likewise confirmed they agree to the ceasefire. He said that the stipulation on the withdrawal of foreign forces was well received on their side, which encouraged them to agree to the deal.

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1 comment

Editors January 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm

The regimes have agendas (1). The government does not want power sharing (2). The government do not wants elections (3). To avoid (1) and (2), the government have to solve the issues militarily.In the beginning, they thought option (3) would be a walk on the ice. They assumed that the international community and the region would invest in “crushing” the uprising to restore peace. This was miscalculated. (4). Now option #3 is impossible, the next option is a political solution. However, to get an upper hand the government has to (I). Capture Bor and Oil fields (II) keep the senior political detainees behind bars….With the recapture of Bentiu and expected recapture of Bor, the government had hopes that the agenda would have been achieved and therefore, there was a rush to agree on the ceasefire. As long as the pro-democratic faction agree to cease hostilities, there would have been no need to retain foreign troops. It is costly to keep the foreign troops in the country. Their expected mission was to recapture the targets, get rewarded and hand over the responsibilities to the “untrusted” SPLA forces to crisp on. This strategy would have weakened the pro-democratic faction’s negotiation power and strengthen the regime side….It was a trap from the government. If the pro-Kiir has Bentiu and Bor under their control, it would mean that Juba is safe and the oil would be flowing. With such power, the Addis peace talk would be nothing but a waste of time. The government would not release the detainees, no election and no power sharing. It would have been up to the Democratic faction to leave the table and join Kiir’s regime or prepare to violate the ceasefire, otherwise, the peace process would talk months and years.


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