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South Sudan's rival leaders sign power-sharing agreement

06 August 2018

"I call on everyone as a leader of South Sudan that this agreement which we have signed today should be the end of the war and the conflict in our country", said President Salva Kiir.

Kiir and his bitter rival Riek Machar were in neighbouring Sudan to sign the deal, under which the rebel leader is set to return to a unity government as the first of five vice presidents, an AFP correspondent at the signing ceremony said.

He disclosed that both sides signed the 2015 peace agreement amid multiple reservations besides intimidation from the global community but expressed hope of successful peace this time with mediation efforts by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir backed by leaders under the East African bloc IGAD.

He was speaking after meeting Sudanese Foreign Minister Mohamed Aldirdiri who is mediating the peace talks, and confirmed the final agreement would be signed on August 5. "Where will I get this?" said Kiir.

The deal stipulates that there will be 35 ministers in the transitional government - 20 from Kiir's group and nine from Machar's, while the rest will represent other groups. "The agreement is in place and we will remain committed ... and will implement (it)", he said. The Parliament will have 550 members, 332 from Kiir's group and 128 from Machar's group.

Sudan helped broker the agreement.

President Salva Kiir expressed hours ago confidence in the survival of the agreement of peace in principle subscribed days ago with his rival.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011, but civil war broke out two years later between the government led by Kiir and a rebel movement led by Machar.

Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir said on Sunday oil would be pumped from South Sudan's Wahda region to Sudan beginning September 1.

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.

South Sudan's rival leaders sign power-sharing agreement