South Sudan rivals sign final power-sharing deal

South Sudan rivals sign final power-sharing deal

South Sudan rivals sign final power-sharing deal

The agreement was signed on Sunday by President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar as well as all political parties in South Sudan.

"[Kenyan] President Uhuru Kenyatta has decided that further negotiations will continue in Khartoum and not in Nairobi", Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed said at Sunday's signing ceremony.

Fuelled by personal and ethnic rivalries, the conflict has killed tens of thousands, displaced an estimated quarter of South Sudan's population of 12 million and ruined its economy that heavily relies on crude oil production.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar shake hands during peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June.

South Sudan's almost five-year conflict began after Kiir accused his then-vice president Machar of plotting a coup against him in 2013.

"The agreement we have just signed today must map the end of conflict and war in our country", Kiir said after signing the deal.

Mr. Kiir and Mr. Machar have already agreed to a permanent ceasefire and to withdraw their troops from urban areas.

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The power-sharing deal stipulates that there will be 35 ministers in the bloated transitional government, including 20 Kiir allies and nine backers of Machar along with representatives of other rebel factions.

But Sudan's Bashir said the mediators were committed to ensure that the agreement was implemented.

Sudan helped broker the agreement.

A similar arrangement fell apart in July 2016 when fighting erupted in the capital, Juba, and Machar fled the country.

"They need security, they need vehicles, they need houses. five vice presidents, this is a very big responsibility to manage", he told the media. "Where will I get this?" "There are so many things need to be done".

South Sudan's war dashed the optimism that accompanied independence from Sudan in 2011. The conflict between the two rivals is aggravated by tribal divisions: President Kiir belongs to the dominant Dinka tribe, and Machar is an ethnic Nuer.

President Kiir also said the remaining outstanding issues will be finalized with his rivals as soon as he arrives in Khartoum.

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