S. Sudan Leaders Agree to Form New Government
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - South Sudan's president and rebel chief met in Addis Ababa in a bid to end six months of civil war, agreeing to forge a transitional government within a 60-day deadline, Ethiopia's prime minster said.
President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar met on the sidelines of a regional leaders' summit organized by the East African regional bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is brokering the slow-moving negotiations.
"They agreed to complete the dialogue process within the coming 60 days on what how, when and who... (for) the formation of the transitional government," Ethiopia's Hailemariam Desalegn said, after the rare meeting between Kiir and Machar.
Mediators, frustrated by the failure of previous deals including two ceasefires, threatened tough action if the rivals once again ignore agreements made, AFP reported.
"Any attempt to stand in the way of peace will have consequences," Hailemariam warned.
The crisis in the young nation has already killed thousands and forced more than 1.3 million people from their homes.
Both Kiir and Machar had also agreed to "fully commit themselves to already signed agreements," Hailemariam said.
"If they don't abide to this agreement... IGAD as an organisation will act to implement peace," Hailemariam said, warning of possible "sanctions and punitive actions" without giving further details.