South Sudan Foes Sign Final Power Sharing Deal

Saul Bowman
August 7, 2018

South Sudan attained independence from Sudan in 2011 but descended into a civil war two years later.

Held at Friendship Hall in Khartoum, the ceremony was graced by Museveni, Sudan leader Omar Al Bashir, Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire and Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir said on Friday he believed the new peace deal between his government and the main rebel group would not collapse because it was not forced upon them like previous accords.

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

The war has killed tens of thousands, displaced some four million people and left the oil-rich country's economy in ruins.

"The agreement we have just signed today must map the end of conflict and war in our country", Kiir said after signing the deal.

Concerning the boundaries and the number of states of South Sudan, it is agreed that an Independent Boundaries Commission will be established to address the issue.

Most notably, the deal would see rebel leader Machar reclaim the office of vice-president, which he lost after Kiir accused him of plotting a coup in 2013.

Under the agreement, the transitional cabinet would be composed of 35 ministers, including 20 ministers from the government, and nine from the Machar-led Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO).

"I would urge. IGAD to focus after this on the implementation of the agreement", Machar said in his address. The transitional Parliament will comprise 550 lawmakers, 332 from Kiir's side and 128 from Machar's faction.

A 2015 peace agreement was shattered when the warring parties renewed fighting in July 2016 in the capital, forcing rebel leader Riek Machar to flee into exile.

The conflict has also been driven by ethnic divisions - Kiir and Machar come from Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups respectively.

"As we have done, we shall continue to walk with you from this moment of great expectation to the full implementation of a Revitalized Agreement", President Kenyatta said.

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