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MACHAR, SSOA to sign peace deal today

South Sudan rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar signs new power sharing deal on 5th August, 2018 to end conflict (photo credit to AFP)

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

Sudan government has confirmed that South Sudanese rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar has agreed to sign the initial deal today to end the civil war after refusing to do so on Tuesday.

Dr. Machar and President Salva Kiir have held weeks of talks in Khartoum in search of a comprehensive peace deal to end the conflict which has killed thousands and displaced millions since 2013.

The warring parties had already inked several agreements including a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing deal that declared Dr. Machar’s return as the First Vice President in the government.

On Tuesday Machar and some members of the SSOA refused to sign the latest draft of the agreement, saying that the disputes over power sharing and a new constitution had been ignored in the draft.

However the Sudanese Mediation team confirmed late Tuesday that Dr. Machar had agreed to sign the initial agreement after failing to sign on Tuesday.

“After intense negotiations with Sudanese Mediators, Riek Machar agreed to sign the document on Thursday, August 30,” Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Ahmed told reporters in Khartoum.

Machar and SSOA had initially refused to sign the draft, saying their reservations had not been acknowledged in the text.

The rebel groups had differences over the functioning of a proposed transitional government, how many states the country should be divided into and on the writing of a new constitution.

Michael Makuei, The government spokesperson told Juba Monitor yesterday in a phone interview that Dr. Machar-led SPLM-IO and SSOA will initial the agreement today.

“They really have reservations on Tuesday and these reservations turned out not to be really important. So they are going to sign today (Thursday),” said Makuei in a phone interview.

Makuei stated that once the signing was concluded, the implementation matrix would start straight away adding that the matrix would mark the end of the peace process.

“After the signing, we will start with the implementation matrix. The implementation matrix will mark the end of our work. Up to that extent, the agreement will be taken to the IGAD Council of Ministers for approval,” Makuei said.

According to Makuei, once the agreement was approved by the IGAD Council of Ministers, the people of South Sudan shall have a final peace agreement peace at hand.

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