Ceasefire is reached in South Sudan

The government and rebels fighting against it have agreed to stop hostilities after negotiations in Ethiopia.

Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin/AP
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks to the media at a press conference in Juba, South Sudan Monday, Jan 20, 2014.

South Sudan's government and rebels fighting against it have signed a cessation of hostilities agreement that should at the least put a pause to five weeks of warfare.

Negotiators for the two sides have been meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for weeks. Thursday's signing was the first real progress made.

The agreement should put an end to violence that has claimed thousands of lives and uprooted a half million people since fighting began Dec. 15 between the government and supporters of former Vice President Riek Machar.

A technical team has been set up to follow the implementation of the agreement.

Jose Barahona, the country director for Oxfam, said the agreement gives the world's newest nation "a second chance."

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