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Machar calls for negotiated ceasefire

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By FARAHANI MUKISA

Posted  Sunday, December 29  2013 at  02:00
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London

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar refused to say if he would commit to a ceasefire with the government, arguing that any truce had to be monitored. “My position is that ceasefire should be negotiated so that a mechanism is set in place to monitor it,” Machar told the BBC by satellite telephone from what he said was a location in “the bush”.

He added: “...matters of ceasefires are always left to the delegation and for the ceasefire to be credible, there is need for a mechanism, or else we will be deceiving ourselves.”

Speaking to the BBC on Friday, the former vice president also called for all of his arrested allies to be freed. “I told the mediators that for the talks to start, it’s best (president) Salva Kiir releases the political detainees,” said Machar.

East African leaders announced Friday that government has agreed to a ceasefire after nearly two weeks of heavy fighting with rebels.

They also gave Machar and President Kiir four days to hold face-to-face talks and halt fighting, pledging “further action” if the civil war continued.

fmukisa@ug.nationmedia.com