The South Sudanese government and the country’s rebels are set to sign a ceasefire deal to end a month - long deadly conflict in the world ' s youngest nation.
In a statement, mediators from the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD), said the South Sudanese parties will attend a signing ceremony to be held at 5:00 p. m.(1400 GMT) on Thursday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The breakthrough comes after the two sides resolved differences, including the issue of political detainees that has been the main sticking point in the peace talks. The peace deal presented by IGAD mediators is expected to cover a ceasefire agreement and monitoring mechanism.
The ceasefire proposal specifically stipulates that both sides must " refrain " from attacking civilians, carrying out summary executions and using child soldiers as well as committing " rape, sexual abuse and torture. "
Deadly violence in South Sudan broke out in Juba on December 15, 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused his sacked deputy, Riek Machar, of attempting to stage a coup. The conflict soon turned into all-out war between the army and defectors, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar's Nuer ethnic group. Aid groups say up to 10,000 people have lost their lives in the fighting, with another half million forced to leave their homes as a result of the violence.