Ceasefire agreed between leaders in South Sudan

The South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel commander Riek Machar have agreed to a ceasefire deal after coming under growing international pressure to end ethnic fighting that has raised fears of genocide in the African nation.

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (R) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchange signed peace agreement documents. Credit: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

The deal by the two men in Ethiopia was the first time they had met since violence erupted in mid-December following a long power struggle.

Kiir and Machar shook hands and prayed together during the ceremony.

The men also agreed that a transitional government offered the "best chance" to take the country towards elections next year.