News / Africa

    South Sudan President, Rebel Chief Reach Cease-Fire Deal

    South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (R) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchange signed peace agreement documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.
    South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (R) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchange signed peace agreement documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.
    Marthe van der Wolf
    South Sudan President Salva Kiir signed a cease-fire agreement Friday night with his rival, opposition leader Riek Machar, in Ethiopia. The agreement calls for the cease-fire to be active within 24 hours that, ending five months of conflict in the country.

    The deal states that both sides have to refrain from any combat action, and they must open up humanitarian corridors. It also calls for a transitional government of national unity to take the country forward.

    Kiir gave his assurance that from Saturday on, his troops will not violate the agreement. “I want to assure you that I and my party, the party I am leading and the army that I’m leading, will implement this agreement without any failure.”

    The deal is very similar to the cessation of hostilities agreement signed in January, but fighting continued throughout South Sudan. Despite Friday’s signing, there remains a lot to be agreed upon in the coming weeks, such as a permanent cease-fire. The two leaders have agreed to meet again within one month.
     
    Machar said the agreement is an important roadmap. “I want to underline to you our commitment for seeking political settlement for this problem. As you know it has started from the SPML, the differences in the SPLM and it went into government," he said. "I am satisfied with the agenda that we have drawn with the envoys. If the two parties seriously engage in dialogue, discussion, we will resolve the problem.”

    Machar also said this was a “senseless war” and that he had not attempted a coup, as alleged by Kiir.
     
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the agreement could mark a breakthrough for the future of South Sudan and urged both sides to swiftly implement it.

    Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had both visited South Sudan in the past week, as part of an international push to stop the fighting there.

    In a report released Thursday, the United Nations said both the South Sudanese government and the rebels may have committed crimes against humanity.

    Amnesty International said its researchers saw a mass grave in the town of Bor containing as many as 530 bodies.

    The unrest was sparked by a power dispute that started in mid-December between Kiir and Machar, his former deputy who was fired in July. More than 1.3 million people have been displaced, and thousands have been killed.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: wnyin from: canada
    May 10, 2014 9:11 PM
    If any wise person notices Riek Machar is an egocentric. He is occupied with self, I this and that. A career criminal with a very long records for breaking truces. If justice isn't served to innocence victims, who were butchered by rebels under his command, than this peace deal will not hold. Up to now, the rival tribes, Murle, Dinka and Chiluk, whom Riek Machar's Nuer from Lou had waged war against and massacred their families may retiliate, but so far, they have shown a great restraint expecting justice against crimes committed by Riek Machar. Otherwise, Rwanda's jenocide will likely be so pale in contrast to what could take place in the near future if Machar isn't indicted. And this goes as well for any government's army personel who might have had murdered unarmed civilian during this failed coup attempt.

    by: abdulai kargbo from: freetown.sierra leone
    May 10, 2014 7:02 AM
    Good news for the peace process. I hope both parties will respect the content of the document.

    by: Sailm moriss from: London
    May 10, 2014 5:01 AM
    The peace will hold as long as the government does not attempt to wrong foot the opposition. The previous agreement failed because government forces went on the offensive during and throughout peace negotiations. In effect there was no agreement.

    by: Thachuor Biel Pal from: Ethiopia
    May 10, 2014 4:52 AM
    Peace peace is much better than senseless war. Please don't decieve the worlds that we have signed the peace let peace prevail in the youngest nation and i hope that the next step will be none southerner troop must leave the new nation. Thanks you all!

    by: kioko. from: msa
    May 10, 2014 2:58 AM
    If only the could read my coment earler we could have stoped the death

    by: Anny from: China
    May 10, 2014 1:56 AM
    Cease-fire agreement is essential between two parties that is good for the people. South Sudan is poor country which is not permitted girls roll in school and woman eat together with husband in the same table. The country should impose on women rights!

    by: Danlami T. from: Nigeria
    May 10, 2014 1:28 AM
    That was a step in the right direction. Peace n stability are panecea to development. put a halt on the mess and move on.

    by: Dobuol from: Wuor
    May 10, 2014 12:52 AM
    No sign of peace or compromise,supposedly because it's not a right time for peace talks we all witness. They sign and exchange their document without hands shake not even a smile on both faces. Kiir has sign a ceasefire in January than what happen his own supporters did attack Bor at the time Bentui. In my point view South Sudan or dictators leader has not commited for ceasefire. He was in Addis Ababa for just to see how's DR. Machar would react when they face each other but it's not about Machar and Him. DR. Riek has nothing to do for the artocities which dictator Kiir had commited to Nuer innocents civilian.

    by: Losike Albert Koteen from: Koteen
    May 10, 2014 12:30 AM

    Goood job done but i don't think whether the government can accept agreeing with all agenders mentioned above
    1. The two parties have been given a comprehensive agenda by IGAD for the talks. The 4 agenda includes the following items;

    a) Cessation of hostilities and access to humanitarian organizations; the parties are to discuss why they failed to implement previous agreement and what needs to be done to commit the parties to stick to the cessation of hostilities agreement signed in January.

    2. Discuss transitional interim government and its institutions

    a) Charter and mandate

    b) Size

    c) Who should be part of this government

    d) Interim parliament/Assembly

    e) Census

    f) Elections

    g) Security reforms

    3. Permanent Constitution for South Sudan

    4. Permanent Ceasefire

    by: Lokuke peter from: Kampala
    May 10, 2014 12:22 AM
    Thank god who has made the two to sign the agreement
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.