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Leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, call for Peace in South Sudan



Leaders of the Eastern African Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, met in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, on Friday to discuss how to end fighting in South Sudan. The meeting was a follow up to another one held in Juba on Thursday by Kenya’s president and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia with the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir. A Statement released by IGAD in Nairobi after the meeting said the government of South Sudan had agreed to a ceasefire. It invited the former Vice-President, Riek Machar, to do the same. Statement said also that IGAD was opposed to a change of government in South Sudan by force and invited President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar to begin peace talks before the end of this year. Machar’s spokesman said on Thursday that they were ready for peace talks, but demanded that the government of South Sudan releases eleven politicians who were arrested last week because they had been nominated as negotiators for the group. The demand was rejected by the government. Fighting has displaced more than 100,000 civilians and according to the United Nations, it has killed more than one thousand people. China, which buys most of the oil from South Sudan, announced on Friday that it had sent an envoy to the country to negotiate an end to the conflict. On Friday fighting was reported in the town of Malakal from where an Anglican bishop told reporters that part of the town was in the hands to rebels and another part under the control of government forces. The town of Bentiu, which is under the control of Machar’s forces, was reported to be calm.




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