Mediators of the South Sudan conflict said Thursday that a truce agreement is imminent.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development announced "There will be a signing ceremony of agreements on cessation of hostilities and question of detainees between the South Sudanese parties." Ateny Wed Ateny, the spokesman for South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, confirmed that an agreement would likely be signed Thursday.
Both sides have acknowledged a ceasefire would be a temporary measure. Additional negotiations are needed to reach a more permanent agreement.
In early January, African leaders from IGAD convened peace talks to bring representatives of the South Sudanese government and the opposition rebels together in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The peace talks were mandated by IGAD following an outbreak of violence in South Sudan. The violence began in mid-December when President Salva Kiir accused his fired deputy, Riek Machar, of attempting a coup. The political dispute devolved into an ethnic conflict. Forces loyal to the two men have engaged in violent conflict since December, resulting in the deaths of thousands and the displacement of 500,000.
[New York Times]