South Sudan rivals sign peace deal, effective after 72 hours?

South Sudan rivals sign peace deal, effective after 72 hours

SOUTH SUDAN

South Sudanese rival leaders signed a peace agreement in Khartoum on Wednesday under which a ceasefire would take hold after 72 hours, Sudan’s foreign minister said, although a rebel spokesman rejected other points.

The minister, Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, said the agreement also included the opening of crossings for humanitarian aid, the freeing of prisoners and the formation of a provisional government after four months.

The two leaders met on Monday for talks to end a civil war that broke out in 2013, less than two years after the country gained independence from Sudan.

In another round of talks in Addis Ababa last week, South Sudan offered to allow a rebel representative to join its government on Friday, but ruled out Machar himself.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir convened this week’s talks in Khartoum, which began on Monday. Sudan has struggled economically since the oil-rich south seceded, and is facing its worst budget crisis for years.

The war that broke out in 2013, less than two years after oil-rich South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, has killed tens of thousands and forced millions from their homes.

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