South Sudan factions set to sign ceasefire on Thursday: mediator

ADDIS ABABA Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:19am EST

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - South Sudan's government and rebels are scheduled to sign a ceasefire deal later on Thursday, the mediator said, after more than five weeks of fighting that has divided Africa's newest nation and brought it to the brink of civil war.

A rebel spokesman in Addis Ababa, where talks were being held, said they were "very likely" to sign the deal in the afternoon. Both sides have previously said they were close to a deal, although disagreements pushed back any signing.

"Signing ceremony of Agreements on Cessation of Hostilities and Question of Detainees between the South Sudanese parties at Sheraton Hotel," said the regional grouping IGAD, which has been mediating the talks, in a mobile phone text message sent to reporters.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Writing by Edmund Blair and Duncan Miriri; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

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