South Sudan president, rival call for cease-fire

JUBA, South Sudan, 11th July, 2016 (WAM)--President of South Sudan and his opposition rival both called Monday for a cease-fire in a conflict that has seen fierce clashes between their forces spread from the capital to a southeastern town.

President Salva Kiir declared a halt in fighting that began Thursday night and has raised fears of a return to civil war that could draw in even more of the East African country's ethnic groups. On Saturday, the troubled nation marked the fifth anniversary of its independence from Sudan.

Hours after the declaration by Kiir, gunfire could still be heard, although it was unclear if was fighting or troops firing in celebration.

Former rebel leader Riek Machar also called for a cease-fire. Machar, who is the country's first vice president under a fragile peace deal, made the call in an interview with South Sudan-based Eye Radio. He also said he was still in Juba but would not elaborate.


WAM/Majok