S.Sudan's Kiir vows power sharing deal with rival will hold

Posted August 07, 2018

President Uhuru Kenyatta Wednesday met Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Sudan, who briefed the Head of State on the progress being made towards the restoration of peace and stability in South Sudan especially as regards the recent Khartoum Peace Agreement.

"This agreement (2018) will not collapse and I am sure that it will not collapse because the people of South Sudan have now agreed that they must make peace among themselves", he said.

Under the pact, South Sudanese government and opposition groups greed to have five vice presidents during the transitional period, with Riek Machar reinstated as the country's first vice president.

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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). According to the deal, there will be 550 members of parliament.

On 25 July, the government and the armed opposition, loyal to Riek Machar, initialled the power-sharing agreement in Khartoum, amid reservations of other opposition groups agreeing to it.

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. "The agreement is in place and we will remain committed ... and will implement (it)", he said.

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Negotiations for the peace deal had been completed and any outstanding issues with his opponents would be settled after signing of the deal, Kiir said.

"Last month the White House warned that "a narrow agreement between elites" would not solve the problems plaguing South Sudan".

A similar peace deal was signed in 2015 but fell apart a year later in a deadly battle that saw Machar flee into exile. Sunday's deal is the 12th ceasefire and second power-sharing agreement.

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With the country's agricultural sector severely disrupted, seven million South Sudanese - more than half of the population - will need food aid in 2018, the United Nations says.