SOUTH SUDAN: Rebel Leader Riek Machar Agrees to Sign Peace deal

KHARTOUM, AUGUST 31, 2018 (CISA)-South Sudanese Rebel leader Riek Machar has agreed to a peace deal with the Juba Government.

The deal is expected to be formally signed at a summit of regional leaders whose date will be announced soon.

“The final signing of the peace deal will happen at a summit of IGAD,” said the Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed.

This after the Sudan and South Sudan Conference of Catholic Bishops called upon the leaders in South Sudan to heed to Pope’s call for peace by respecting and abiding by the provisions of the agreement and above all foster political will so as to enable implementation of the final peace agreement once it is signed.

“All the stakeholders should fully be committed to making sure this time round the desired peace should not be lost and those who are seen to be working against peace and or violating its provisions are held to account,” they said in their August 24 statement.

Machar and other opposition groups had refused to agree to the deal saying that some reservations concerning the accord had not been acknowledged.

“The rebels had differences over the functioning of a proposed transitional government, how many states the country should be divided into and on the writing of the new constitution,” reported Daily Nation Newspaper.

“After intense negotiations by Sudanese mediators, Riek Machar agreed to sign the document on Thursday, August 30,” Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed told reporters.

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 tens of thousands and displaced millions since 2013.

During the negotiations, the parties signed several agreements, including a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing deal that sees Machar return as first vice president in the government.