By Aaron Maasho ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel commander Riek Machar signed a ceasefire deal on Friday after coming under growing international pressure to end ethnic fighting that has raised fears of genocide. Friday's deal was made at a meeting in Ethiopia that was the first time the two men had met face-to-face since violence erupted in December following a long power struggle. Kiir and Machar, both Christians, shook hands and prayed together. The men agreed that a transitional government offered the "best chance" to take the country towards elections next year, though there was no immediate decision on who would be part of an interim administration. "Now that we have come to our senses ... dialogue is the only answer to whatever problem we had," Kiir said after a signing ceremony in Addis Ababa's presidential palace. "We will continue to move in the right direction." The truce will take effect within 24 hours and both sides agreed to disengage their forces and refrain from any provocative actions, said Seyoum Mesfin, lead mediator from the regional IGAD grouping. "Today's agreement to immediately stop the fighting in South Sudan and to negotiate a transitional government could mark a breakthrough for the future of South Sudan," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. A previous ceasefire accord struck in January swiftly fell apart, with each side blaming the other for fighting that has exacerbated deep-rooted tensions between Kiir's ethnic Dink community and Machar's Nuer group. Western powers had demanded a new deal. Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had both visited the Texas-sized country in the past week, part of a diplomatic push by regional and world leaders still haunted by Rwanda's 1994 genocide. "I saw with my own eyes last week the stakes and the struggles in a new nation we helped courageous people create. The people of South Sudan have suffered too much for far too long," Kerry added in Friday's statement. The United States has already slapped sanctions on two commanders on opposing sides of the conflict, a sign of its growing frustration with the leaders of Africa's youngest country, which declared independence from Sudan in 2011. Cranking up the pressure ahead of the Friday's meeting, the European Union also threatened sanctions against anyone blocking the peace effort. INTERIM GOVERNMENT Fighting erupted in South Sudan's capital Juba in mid-December between soldiers loyal to Kiir and those backing Machar and quickly spread across the country. Kiir's government at the time accused Machar of treason - a charge again denied by the rebel leader, who on Friday swapped his military fatigues for a dapper suit. Thousands of people have been killed and more than a million forced from their homes. Troops on both sides have committed murder, rape and other sexual abuses, a U.N. report said. The unrest has caused oil output to be cut by a third to 160,000 barrels per day. "I had no reason to bring South Sudan to war," Machar told Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and envoys. Kiir and Machar have been locked in a long-running power struggle that intensified after the president sacked Machar as his deputy in July. Negotiators from the two sides will now hammer out the terms of an interim government that will guide the country of 10 million people to elections in 2015, the agreement said. Those discussions may be hard fought. Machar told Reuters in January that Kiir had lost the people's trust and should resign - a demand some in his camp were still making earlier on Friday. But Kiir's ministers say the president would not quit. One Western diplomat said there was a push for the peace process to include former political prisoners, the church and local civil society groups. "You can't leave it to warring guys because then it's basically about who gets what part of the cake," said the Juba-based Western diplomat. "These (talks) are a fundamental review of where the country is going and on what basis." (Additional reporting by Drazen Jorgic in Juba and Sandra Maler in Washington; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
- The Daily Beast
Mario Anzuoni/ReutersAlec Baldwin and Rosanna Arquette are among a number of celebrities who have been slammed for sending thoughts and prayers to Anne Heche after the A-lister’s high-speed crash into a Mar Vista house while allegedly drunk.Baldwin took to Instagram on Saturday to send “my best wishes and all my love” to Heche, who is reportedly in stable condition in a hospital after suffering severe burns in the incident. According to a statement from the Los Angeles Fire Department, it took 5
They were together for nine months.
Pete Davidson wore a T-shirt with a cryptic message a day after announcing his split from Kim Kardashian
The former "SNL" star was photographed while filming on location in Cairns, Australia, where he appeared to make an interesting fashion statement.
- The Hill
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) clinched a victory on Wednesday when the Senate — including 48 of the chamber’s 50 Republicans — voted overwhelmingly to admit Finland and Sweden to NATO. The resolution, which cleared the chamber in a bipartisan 95-1 vote, was a top priority for the Republican leader, who wanted to send a signal…
- The Hill
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) received a warning early Sunday morning to follow the Senate’s decorum rules after he accused Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) of being “deceitful” and “dishonest” and vowed “we’re going to call you out.” “This gives phony and cynical a bad name,” Graham exclaimed when Hassan introduced her amendment. Graham’s outburst at Hassan…
- The Hill
A power tool and hand tool manufacturer issued a recall for almost 1.4 million saws on Thursday following reports of consumer laceration injuries while using the product. DeWALT issued the recall for the 12-inch sliding compound miter saws after the company learned that the rear safety guard can break or detach, according to the U.S.…
- The Courier
Tim Trahan, a Houma native living in Arcadia, caught the new State Record Bluegill out of a neighbor's pond in Arcadia.
Queen Elizabeth II Reportedly Begged Prince William To Stop a Hobby That Could ‘Threaten the Line of Succession’
While Queen Elizabeth II is okay with many of Prince William’s hobbies, like motorcycles and sailing, there’s one that she “stays up at night” worrying about. And truthfully, we don’t blame her. It’s reported by Daily Mail that the Queen has repeatedly asked William not to fly helicopters, especially to not pilot them himself in […]
- E! News
One day after the news broke that Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson called it quits, the former SNL star was spotted on set in Australia wearing a t-shirt with an interesting message on it.
- Ukrayinska Pravda
VALENTYNA ROMANENKO - MONDAY, 8 AUGUST 2022, 07:58 Aerial reconnaissance and artillery units of the National Guard of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Armed Forces, supported by tanks, destroyed a subversion and reconnaissance group of Russian special forces and a Russian ammunition point in the north of Kharkiv Oblast.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyA wave of COVID infections caused by the BA.5 subvariant has crested. All over the world, daily new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are going down.But the SARS-CoV-2 virus is almost certainly here to stay. Another wave is all but inevitable as new variants and subvariants mutate, compete for dominance, and find new transmission pathways.How fast that wave comes, and how bad it gets, probably comes down to a genetic competition between different mutat
The fast-food chain teased its biggest fans on Twitter, but now it has actually brought back a much-requested item.
New video shows a chaotic crash of a stolen rental car involving four teens. Traffic cameras captured police trying to stop the vehicle on 35-E in Little Canada. The car crashes into the median twice and four people come running out and across the busy highway. All four were arrested.
Elizabeth Banks is turning up the heat this summer with a show-stopping, untouched video of herself living her best life by the pool. On Aug 4, Banks uploaded a cheeky video of herself going from the airport in her casual ensemble to lounging by the pool in a cherry-printed bikini. She posted it with the […]
11-year-old who saved up money for a lemonade stand was scammed by a man who gave him fake $100 bill and asked for exact change, police say
Jeremy, who lives in Washington state, used his allowance to set up a lemonade stand but was said to be stiffed by a man using a fake $100 bill.
- Steelers Wire
Najee Harris has missed a week with a foot injury.
Former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele dismissed her latest act as "performative bulls**t."
"A kind and generous person, Lynne is always first to offer help to others," neighbors wrote in a GoFundMe for Lynne Mishele, the woman who lost her home in Anne Heche's recent car crash
- Patriots Wire
This may not go over well.
- Entertainment Weekly
This week’s episode was for the Hotties!