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South Sudan’s political rivals vow to form unity government

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his political rival, former rebel leader Riek Machar on Tuesday reached a deal to form a transitional unity government.

Both leaders vowed to form the said unity government even if they fail to resolve all their differences before a new deadline.

President Kiir and Riek Machar were to form a unity government as agreed in a peace deal by November 12.

But both parties failed to meet this deadline delaying the unity government for 100 days beyond the Nov. 12 deadline.

Uganda’s presidency said such a move was aimed at buying time due to concerns that war could resume if the two sides were pushed.

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The new administration was expected to be in place by mid-November, with hopes it would end the current political crisis.

“We said that after 100 days we must form the government of national unity. If the arrangements are not complete, we shall form a transitional government of national unity to implement the outstanding issues,” Kiir told reporters after three days of talks with Machar in the capital Juba.

“The ceasefire will continue to hold and no one from us is willing to go back to war,” Kiir said.

South Sudan crisis

A breakdown in relations between President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Machar sparked a civil war, killing hundreds of people and displaced millions.

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 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. South Sudan gained independence in 2011 from north Sudan but fighting broke out two years later.

The key issues for negotiators has been guaranteeing the safety of Machar and his troops and how to de-militarise Juba.

Reducing the number of regional states in South Sudan to an agreeable number also remains a thorn in the flesh for negotiators.


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