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South Sudan's government and rebels sign ceasefire

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South Sudan's government and rebels sign ceasefire

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South Sudan’s government and rebels have agreed a ceasefire, aimed at ending weeks of violence that brought the country to the brink of civil war.

It is expected to be implemented within 24 hours of the signing ceremony at talks in Ethiopia but ensuring the truce holds will be a challenge. Analysts fear it fails to address the ethnic and political rivalry that underpinned the bloodshed in Africa’s newest nation.

Fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels backing the vice president he sacked in July, Riek Machar, erupted in mid-December.

Thousands of people have been killed and more than half a million others have fled their homes.

The UN says atrocities have been carried out by both sides.