South Sudan Rebel Chief Agrees to Sign Peace Deal

South Sudan Rebel Chief Agrees to Sign Peace Deal

Wednesday, 29 August, 2018 - 05:30
FILE PHOTO: South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar (L) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir sign a cease fire and power sharing agreement in Khartoum, Sudan August 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
Sudan said on Tuesday that South Sudanese rebels will sign the latest draft of a comprehensive peace deal with the Juba government to end a brutal civil war after assurances that a power-sharing accord inked earlier this month will be honored.

President Salva Kiir and the leader of the main rebel group, Riek Machar, signed up to the ceasefire and power-sharing agreement earlier in August after an initial deal in June aimed to end fighting that first broke out in 2013.

Kiir's government and some small opposition groups had initialed the draft at a ceremony hosted by Khartoum outside the Sudanese capital earlier on Tuesday, but Machar's SPLM-IO and another rebel group refused to sign, saying that disputes over power sharing and a new constitution had been left out.

The agreement is intended to end years of civil war in Africa's youngest state that has killed thousands and displaced millions of people.

"Intensive negotiations with Dr. Riek Machar ... has led to Dr. Riek Machar agreeing to initial the final peace agreement the day after tomorrow, on Thursday, August 30," Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed said in a statement.

He said Khartoum assured Machar that the points he had raised would be taken up at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a gathering of east Africa nations that has been trying to end the war in South Sudan.

Sudan has brokered talks between Kiir and various rebel groups in Khartoum this year.

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