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Obama welcomes South Sudan ceasefire deal

Published on Jan 24, 2014 8:31 AM
 
US President Barack Obama smiles as he arrives to deliver remarks at a reception with US mayors at the White House in Washington on Jan 23, 2014. Mr Obama urged South Sudan's government and rebels Thursday to implement a new ceasefire as soon as possible and cement it with an inclusive political dialogue. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama urged South Sudan's government and rebels Thursday to implement a new ceasefire as soon as possible and cement it with an inclusive political dialogue.

The deal committed both sides to halt fighting within 24 hours and end five weeks of conflict that has left thousands dead.

"I welcome today's signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement in South Sudan, which is a critical first step toward building a lasting peace," Mr Obama said in a statement. "Now, South Sudan's leaders need to work to fully and immediately implement the agreement and start an inclusive political dialogue to resolve the underlying causes of the conflict.

"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."

 
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