South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar has now agreed to sign a peace deal aimed at ending the country’s civil war.
On Tuesday, Sudanese mediators said Mr. Machar refused to sign the final peace deal with the government making extra demands.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed had told reporters that “The main South Sudanese opposition groups, including the SPLM-IO (Machar faction), refused to sign the final document demanding that their reservations be guaranteed in it.”
Ahmed said “South Sudan will not have peace unless these groups sign”.
Hours later the Ahmed came back to tell the media that Machar has now agreed to sign the deal.
“After intense negotiations by Sudanese mediators, Riek Machar agreed to sign the document on Thursday, August 30,” Ahmed said.
The new deal is to provide for five vice presidents for South Sudan and protect a power sharing arrangement.
Per the deal former Vice-President Riek Machar is expected to return to his former position. The transitional government would govern for three years.
The most recent deal was signed in 2015 but it did not help to end the conflict. President Kiir said at the signing ceremony then that he calls “on everyone as a leader of South Sudan that this agreement which we have signed today…. be the end of the war and the conflict in our country.”
Rebel leader Riek Machar also remarked at the event then saying “today we celebrate, not just in South Sudan, but throughout the world.”
“there is no option but peace … we have to focus after this stage on implementing the agreement that if we don’t implement, we will all be failures.”
South Sudan gained independence in 2011 from north Sudan but fighting broke out two years later.