South Sudan’s long-awaited peace deal grants rebels key government posts
Khartoum — South Sudan’s main warring parties signed a peace deal that will grant rebels key positions in a transitional government, the latest bid to end an almost five-year conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
The accord will restore rebel leader Riek Machar as President Salva Kiir’s deputy, while appointing four other vice-presidents and adding new posts for ministers and legislators.
Following the collapse of a similar pact in July 2016, it will be the second attempt at a power-sharing government since the start of the civil war in the East African nation.
Kiir and Machar signed the deal — which came after weeks of incremental agreements — on Sunday in Khartoum, the capital of neighbouring Sudan. Other opposition factions also took part in the ceremony.
The peace agreement is long-awaited in the nation that has faced economic chaos because of a decline in oil income and where 4-million people have fled their homes and some areas have been on the verge of famine.
Both government forces and rebels have been accused of atrocities, and the UN Security Council recently imposed an arms embargo.
Crude production at one of the country’s main oilfields in what was formerly known as Unity state will resume in September, Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir confirmed at the signing ceremony. The two countries are combining efforts to rehabilitate the production facilities and also agreed to conduct joint security patrols to protect South Sudan’s oilfields, he said.
South Sudan was producing about 350,000 barrels of oil a day in 2011, when it seceded from Sudan.