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Published: Friday December 27, 2013 MYT 10:01:34 PM
Updated: Friday December 27, 2013 MYT 10:01:34 PM

South Sudan neighbours say Kiir committed to ceasefire

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks during a news conference in Juba December 18, 2013. Kiir said on Wednesday he was ready for dialogue with his rival who he has accused of trying to force him out of power through fighting that has killed up to 500 people and brought the two-year-old nation close to civil war. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks during a news conference in Juba December 18, 2013. Kiir said on Wednesday he was ready for dialogue with his rival who he has accused of trying to force him out of power through fighting that has killed up to 500 people and brought the two-year-old nation close to civil war. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

NAIROBI (Reuters) - South Sudan's government has committed to an immediate ceasefire, the country's regional neighbours said on Friday, as they urged rebel leader Riek Machar to make the same commitment.

Regional heads of state who attended a meeting of east African body Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Kenyan capital Nairobi, said they want all the warring parties in South Sudan to meet for talks by December 31.

"(IGAD) welcomes the commitment by the government of Republic of South Sudan to an immediate cessation of hostilities and calls upon Dr Riek Machar and other parties to make similar commitments," a communiqué from the 23rd Extraordinary Session of IGAD said.

(Reporting by Richard Lough; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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