South Sudan: Rivals Agree Transitional Government That Could End Civil War
South Sudan’s government and most prominent armed rebel group have agreed to share power in a transitional government – a deal that renews hope for peace in the country.
South Sudan’s bitter rivals, who have been at war for more than two years, reached agreement on the appointment of ministers for a new transitional government on Thursday. The agreement effectively sees the opposing parties share ministries for the next three years before new elections are held in the country.
The agreement between President Salva Kiir’s government and Riek Machar’s rebel group was reached without disagreement. After more than two years of bitter fighting, despite numerous peace deals previously agreed, it was feared the two groups would be unable to reach an agreement between themselves.
However, negotiations were successfully concluded without any major setbacks. The agreement will see a transitional government formed for the next three years with the existing government to take 16 ministries and the SPLM-IO opposition group to take 10.
Renewed hopes for peace
Many will be surprised by the ease of which this most recent agreement was reached. Over the last two years, previous agreements have failed to end widespread conflict in South Sudan. Kiir’s government and Machar’s rebel forces have both been accused of prolonging violence in the country with some accusing the leaders of profiteering from the conflict.
Both Kiir and Machar have maintained they are committed to establishing peace in South Sudan, despite their forces continuing to stage attacks against each other. However, the progress made between the rivals brings renewed hope that peace can be brought to South Sudan for the first time in more than two years.
“A young girl hangs the South Sudan flag (5925619011)” by USAID Africa Bureau – A young girl hangs the South Sudan flag. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.