urges immediate ceasefire in South Sudan
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[January 06, 2014]
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) — China, the
biggest investor in South Sudan's oil industry, called for an immediate
ceasefire in the world's newest state on Monday as peace talks to end a
three-week outburst of ethnic fighting faced delay.
On a visit to Ethiopia, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said
Beijing was deeply concerned by the unrest in South Sudan, which has
killed more than a thousand people and forced the government to cut
oil production by about a fifth.
"China's position with regards to the current situation in South
Sudan is very clear," Wang told a news conference on the first stop
of an African tour. "First, we call for an immediate cessation of
hostilities and violence."
Wang was speaking in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where peace
talks aimed at thrashing out a ceasefire deal have been repeatedly
delayed. Last month, Beijing also appealed to all sides in South
Sudan to stop fighting.
China, Wang said, would do everything it could to help restore
stability in South Sudan without giving further details and urged
international powers to back the Ethiopian-led mediation efforts.
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Three weeks of fighting, which began in the capital but spread
beyond, often along ethnic faultlines, have pitted President Salva
Kiir's SPLA government forces against rebels loyal to former vice
president Riek Machar.
(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; writing by Richard Lough;
Angus MacSwan and Alister Doyle)
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