ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 10 (UPI) -- The government of South Sudan and the rebels have agreed to cease fighting and establish a transitional government within 60 days, Ethiopia's prime minister announced Tuesday.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his deposed Vice President-turned rebel leader Riek Machar reportedly reached the agreement during a rare face-to-face meeting on the sidelines of an IGAD summit in Addis Ababa.
"If they don't abide to this agreement," Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn warned that "IGAD as an organisation will act to implement peace in South Sudan. On that, we have different options including sanctions and [other] punitive actions as well." The warning was the first of its kind from IGAD, which has attempted to mediate the conflict.
Violence broke out in South Sudan on December 15, 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his fired deputy, Riek Machar, of attempting a coup. Fighting between forces loyal to the two men has continued since December, with the political dispute devolving into an ethnic conflict. Thousands have died and an estimated one million have been displaced.