S.Sudan fighters sign ceasefire ahead of referendum

George Athor, a former senior officer in southern Sudan's army, was the last major guerrilla leader fighting against the authorities.

S.Sudan fighters sign ceasefire ahead of referendum

The army of southern Sudan signed a ceasefire with a renegade general's fighters on Wednesday, easing one potential source of instability days before the region votes in a referendum on its fate.

George Athor, a former senior officer in southern Sudan's army, was the last major guerrilla leader fighting against the authorities.

Athor, believed to be holed up in remote Jonglei state, sent a delegation which signed the truce late on Wednesday in a hotel in regional capital Juba. His forces had killed scores of troops since he rebelled against the south's government, after accusing officials of perpetrating fraud in elections in April.

"We are very grateful to George Athor for his tireless efforts to make this ceasefire a success," said officer Michael Majur, speaking on behalf of the southern army, the SPLA. "I would like to thank him wherever he his."

South Sudan's leader Salva Kiir offered in October to pardon Athor, and both sides had agreed to keep out of each other's way until negotiations were concluded. Two weeks ago, the southern army accused Athor's forces of laying an ambush for them that killed 20 soldiers and wounded 50 others.


Reuters

Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2011, 11:24
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