South Sudan foes sign final power-sharing deal

Aug 07, 2018, 05:01
South Sudan foes sign final power-sharing deal

President Salva Kiir expressed hours ago confidence in the survival of the agreement of peace in principle subscribed days ago with his rival.

The signing ceremony was attended by Presidents Omer al-Bashir, Yoweri Museveni, Uhuru Kenyatta, Ismail Omar Guelleh, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire and Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen.

The visit by the Sudan Foreign Minister is in line with the mandate of the IGAD Summit of 21st June 2018 which tasked President Omar al-Bashir to host the second round of face-to-face negotiations between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar held in Khartoum.

"In fact, such an agreement may sow the seeds of another cycle of conflict", it said.

This leaves many in South Sudan doubtful on whether the deal would end the 5-year civil war in the country.

On Friday, Kiir pledged the deal would "not collapse" because it, unlike the previous peace initiatives, had not been imposed by outside powers.

While Kiir said he was "committed" to the deal, he highlighted several challenges going forward, especially in accommodating a bloated government.

Thousands of people have died in the 2013 civil war after troops loyal to the rebel Machar clashed with government troops.

It also stipulated that the transitional cabinet would be composed of 35 ministers from both the government and the opposition, including 20 ministers from the government, and nine from the Machar-led Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO). "Where will I get this?" said Kiir.

The talks come as part of a regional push aimed at achieving peace in the country, which plunged into a devastating conflict just two years after its independence from Sudan. According to the deal, there will be 550 members of parliament.

A similar arrangement fell apart in July 2016 when fighting erupted in the capital, Juba, and Machar fled the country.

The conflict has been fuelled by divisions between the Mr Kiir's Dinka and Mr Machar's Nuer ethnic groups.

President Kiir also said the remaining outstanding issues will be finalized with his rivals as soon as he arrives in Khartoum.

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