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South Sudan ceasefire set to begin after peace deal

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers pose at their headquarters in Nyang on February 15, 2014A ceasefire between South Sudan’s government and rebels was due to come into effect Saturday following a deal to end a brutal five-month war that has pushed the country to the brink of genocide and famine. President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, a former vice president, met in the Ethiopian capital on Friday, shook hands and prayed together, and agreed to order a halt to fighting within 24 hours. In their deal, the rivals “agreed that a transition government offers the best chance to the people of South Sudan” with the promise of fresh elections for the world’s youngest nation, said Seyoum Mesfin, head mediator with the East African regional bloc IGAD. South Sudanese army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP that the truce appeared to already be in place, information that was echoed by several independent aid sources.

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