South Sudan: Kiir and Machar agree to form unity government

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar have agreed to form a transitional government in February, even if they fail to resolve ongoing political disputes.

After missing two previous deadlines to form a unity government, the leaders insist they will put any remaining political differences aside and commit to the formation of a transitional government in February. The announcement follows three days of talks between Kiir and Machar in the capital, Juba.

Kiir, Machar vow to form unity government

South Sudan was due to form a transitional unity government in May, as part of a peace deal signed between the two parties in September, 2018. The peace deal brought an end to five years of brutal civil conflict but the terms of the deal are yet to be fully implemented.

The formation of a transitional government is a key step in fulfilling the peace agreement but Machar’s rebel group accuse the government of failing to meet a number of smaller terms related to the integration of rebel troops into the national army, funding and several other issues.

Machar’s rebel group has refused to participate in any unity government until the terms are met. However, President Kiir says he and his rival have agreed to form the transitional government in February, ruling out any further delays.

“We said that after 100 days we must form the government of national unity and if arrangements are not complete, we shall form a transitional government of national unity to implement the outstanding issues,” Kiir told reporters after Tuesday’s meeting.

“The cease-fire will continue to hold and no one from us is willing to go back to war.”

Featured image: By USAID Africa Bureau – A young girl hangs the South Sudan flag, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21460264

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.