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Thursday, Jul 31st, 2014

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South Sudan Warring Factions Sign Ceasefire in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, January 23, 2014 (SSNA) -- The government of South Sudan and rebels have on Thursday signed “cessation of hostilities” accord in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The deal requires the two warring factions to stop the ongoing fighting. The agreement is expected to take effect in 24 hours.

The deal also calls for withdrawal of all foreign troops who are currently participating in the conflict.

Taban Deng Gai, head of the rebels' team said he hopes the agreement will create peace in South Sudan.

"These two agreements are the ingredients to create an environment for achieving a total peace in my country", Gai told AFP.

However, IGAD's Chief Mediator Seyoum Mesfin warned that the implementation process could be a challenge.

“I believe that the postwar challenges will be greater than the war itself. The process will be ... unpredictable and delicate”, Mesfin said.

Peace talks will resume on the 7th of February 2014, the South Sudan News Agency has learned. 

East African Community Disowns Uganda’s Military Intervention in South Sudan

Kampala, January 21, 2014 (SSNA) -- Differences have emerged between member states of the East African Community (EAC) after Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni sent his troops to South Sudan to fight alongside forces loyal to the South Sudanese president Salva kiir.

Museveni admits that Uganda's soldiers are helping President Salva Kiir fight rebels.

Recent unconfirmed reports suggest that the East African Community supports Uganda’s military intervention in South Sudan.

However, for the first time, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Phyllis Jepkosgei Kandie, said Uganda’s decision to engage militarily in the South Sudan is “political” and not supported by the EAC.

“That is an issue for Uganda, and I can say that it is mainly political, but I wouldn’t want to discuss it”, Kandie told the Observer Newspaper (Uganda).

Kandie also explained that what the EAC member states agreed on during its session was a “humanitarian support” and not the other way around.

“When we talk of humanitarian support, we mean the thousands of refugees that cross into our countries”, Kandie said.

“Kenya for example has been receiving a lot of refugees from Somalia and now South Sudan; do you just ignore such people? No, you have to offer humanitarian support and that is what we agreed as EAC”, she added.

Late last week, two leading Kenya's Senators asked Kampala to immediately withdraw its soldiers from the violence-wrecked nation and accused Museveni of pursuing "hidden interests".

Meanwhile, Sudan said it will not allow any foreign military intervention in South Sudan and asserted that it has more interests in the young nation than the rest of the East African countries.

Fighting erupted in Juba on the 15th of December 2013, between different units of presidential guards just one day after senior members of the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) party walked out of the National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting on December 14; labeling the process as “undemocratic”.

IGAD-led Peace talks are currently underway in Ethiopia.

Kampala has been widely suspected of fighting alongside with forces loyal to President Kiir. Most South Sudanese believe that Yoweri Museveni has chosen Kiir’s side. The recent revelation over Kampala's military participation could further fuel the conflict.

SPLA Soldiers Ransack Human Rights Activist’s Home

Juba, January 21, 2014 (SSNA) -- A house of a prominent South Sudan’s human rights activist was ransacked in Juba by government’s soldiers on the 21st of January 2014.

Biel Boutros Biel, the Executive Director of the South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) who owns the shattered house, was not at his residence at the time SPLA soldiers and plain clothes security agents were seen at his home.

In a public statement, Biel expresses his discontent over government’s action and says he anticipates the incident because government’s elements had harassed him before.

“They broke all my two rooms, took everything, after more than two hours within the premises”, Biel says.

At least twenty SPLA soldiers were seen at the residence.

“I know they were looking for me but now that they could not find me, they were frustrated as their mission has failed”, he continues.

“Thank God none of my relatives was in the house as long knew, they would one day come since
they have found new excuses”, he added.

The event happened at about 12:00am, South Sudan local time, according to the transcripts obtained by the South Sudan News Agency.

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