Skip to main content

South Sudan, rebels reach cease-fire after weeks of fighting

By Jason Hanna and Susanna Capelouto, CNN
January 24, 2014 -- Updated 1934 GMT (0334 HKT)
Students take notes during an English language class at the Juba Nabari Primary School in Juba, South Sudan, on Wednesday, April 9. Recent conflict in the country has made resources scarce; many civil servants, including teachers, have not received their pay for several months. South Sudan erupted in violence on December 15 when rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar tried to stage a coup. Violence quickly spread, with reports of mass killings emerging nationwide. Students take notes during an English language class at the Juba Nabari Primary School in Juba, South Sudan, on Wednesday, April 9. Recent conflict in the country has made resources scarce; many civil servants, including teachers, have not received their pay for several months. South Sudan erupted in violence on December 15 when rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar tried to stage a coup. Violence quickly spread, with reports of mass killings emerging nationwide.
HIDE CAPTION
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • South Sudan's government and rebels agree on a cease-fire brokered by East African mediation group
  • Fighting broke out December 15 after rebels tried to stage a coup
  • Cease-fire calls for an end to all military operations and the protection of civilians
  • Unarmed group of monitors will be set up to ensure the agreement sticks

(CNN) -- The South Sudanese government and rebels signed a cease-fire deal on Thursday after more than a month of fighting, according to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an East African trade bloc that has been helping to mediate between the parties.

The government and the rebels reached the agreement in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

It calls for an immediate end to all military operations and a freeze of forces at the "place they are in."

The parties also agreed not to attack civilians and to refrain from rape, sexual abuse and torture. Supply routes for humanitarian aid are to be opened to reach displaced populations.

The agreement also sets up an unarmed group of monitors that includes members from surrounding East African nations and representatives from both the rebels and the government.

Is South Sudan bad for business?

Their job will be to ensure that the cease-fire agreement is effective.

According to the official document, the cease-fire begins Friday, 24 hours after its signing.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that a peace deal will "provide good opportunities for South Sudanese, and the people around this country who have been suffering."

Support for peace talks also came from U.S. President Barack Obama who called on both parties to adhere to a separate detainee agreement, which was also signed as part of the cease-fire deal.

"The full participation of political detainees currently being held by the Government of South Sudan will be critical to those discussions, and we will continue to work to expedite their release," the White House statement said.

South Sudan erupted in violence on December 15 when rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar tried to stage a coup. Violence quickly spread, with reports of mass killings emerging nationwide.

Some of the heaviest fighting was over control of Bor, the strategically located capital of Jonglei state. It was recaptured by government forces last week. The mayor said between 1,200 and 1,400 civilians were killed when rebels held Bor between December 17 and 24.

In a statement, the trade bloc said the cease-fire is an important milestone, but more shuttle diplomacy is needed before the next phase of peace talks can begin.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war, making it the world's youngest nation.

CNN's Mitra Mobasherat and Nana Karikari-apau contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT