Deal signed to end South Sudan fighting that's killed thousands

South Sudan army (SPLA) soldiers guard Bor airport on December 25, 2013South Sudan’s government and rebels on Thursday signed a ceasefire agreement, pledging to halt fighting within 24 hours and end five weeks of bitter conflict that has left thousands dead. The agreement was signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa by representatives of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel delegates loyal to ousted vice president Riek Machar, and was greeted by cheers from regional peace brokers and diplomats. South Sudan’s government also agreed to free 11 officials close to Machar who were detained after fighting between rival army units broke out on December 15, although no timeline for their release was given. “These two agreements are the ingredients to create an environment for achieving a total peace in my country,” said Taban Deng, head of the rebel delegation.

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