South Sudan President Salva Kiir has agreed to meet with rival former vice president Riek Machar in an effort to cease violence that has continued for six months.
Secretary of State John Kerry met with Kiir for about an hour and a half, urging the president of the world’s newest country to put a stop to the bloodshed. The meeting was successful, as Kiir tentatively agreed to meet with Machar.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will mediate between the two sides the AP reports.
"The unspeakable human costs that we are seeing over the course of the last months, and which could even grow if they fail to sit down, are unacceptable to the global community," Kerry said in a press conference. "Before the promise of South Sudan's future is soaked in more blood, President Kiir and the opposition must work immediately for cessation of hostilities and to move toward an understanding about future governance for the country."
Thave been killed in South Sudan since the outbreak of violence in December 2013. Approximately 1 million people have fled from the area. Included in that number are farmers who were forced to leave their land and crops behind, causing great potential for famine in the area later this year.
Publication date: May 2, 2014