By NICHOLAS BARIYO June 11, 2014

Wall Street Journal Online

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar agreed to form a transitional government in the next 60 days, a big step in efforts to resolve a devastating six-month conflict in the world’s youngest nation, mediators said on Wednesday.

Government and rebel negotiators are slated to start talks on the formation of a transitional government of national unity on Thursday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, according to a communiqué issued by the heads of state from East Africa’s regional trade bloc, the Intergovernmental Agency for Development, or IGAD.

The warring parties have 60 days to complete the talks and are also required to cease all military operations during the negotiations—or face punitive sanctions.

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