WASHINGTON – South Sudan’s president has reached a cease-fire agreement with a rebel leader, an African regional bloc said Friday, after a vicious cycle of revenge killings drew international alarm.
The deal means “an immediate cessation of hostilities within 24 hours of the signing” and “unhindered humanitarian access” to all people affected by the monthslong conflict, said a statement by the political bloc known as IGAD, which is mediating the conflict.
Ethnically targeted violence in the world’s youngest country broke out in December, killing thousands of people and forcing more than 1.3 million to flee their homes. The U.N. Security Council has expressed “horror” at recent killings of civilians.
A cease-fire in January between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar fell apart within days.
Nephew says aunt, 93, fired first
HEARNE, Texas – The nephew of a 93-year-old Central Texas woman shot and killed by a police officer said his aunt fired two shots before the officer shot her.
Roy Jones told KBTX-TV of Bryan and College Station that he had taken his aunt Pearlie Golden to renew her driver’s license, but she was denied after failing her test.
Jones said he was sitting with Golden on her porch when she demanded her keys back. He says he refused, so Golden went into the house and got her .38-caliber handgun. That’s when he called police.
Embassy officers thwart abduction
WASHINGTON – Two officers at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen shot and killed a pair of armed Yemeni civilians during an attempted abduction of the Americans at a Sanaa business last month, the State Department said Friday.
The officers have left Yemen, Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said in a statement. No other details were provided.
Citing unidentified U.S. officials, the New York Times reported that the Americans were a CIA officer and a lieutenant colonel with the elite Joint Special Operations Command who were visiting a barber shop in an upscale district in Yemen’s capital April 24.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa closed temporarily because of attacks on Westerners.
The U.S. has waged a heavy campaign of drone strikes in Yemen against the group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. This month the Yemeni government has been waging an offensive against the militant group, and violence around the country has been on an upswing.