South Sudanese government and rebels sign peace deal to end conflict

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Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and chief mediator for the Khartoum Round of the South Sudan peace revitalisation process, El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed, arrived in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, yesterday to meet with President Silva Kiir Mayardit.

President Kiir and Dr Machar signed an accord on security arrangements after a round of peace talks in the neighbouring Sudan's capital, Khartoum.

President Salva Kiir and key South Sudanese opposition leaders without exception have appended their signature on the agreements on governance on Sunday putting aside their concerns over the power-sharing and number of states.

Previous peace agreements held for only a matter of months before fighting resumed, which Kiir blamed on foreign influence. Both the 2015 and the 2018 agreements were mediated by Sudan and other east African nations.

"The 2016 conflict was forced on us, this is why when we signed the agreement I signed with 26 reservations and the agreement collapsed before us".

South Sudan's almost five year conflict began after Kiir accused his sacked vice president Machar of plotting a coup against him in 2013.

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"People didn't take me seriously until the agreement collapsed in their face".

He told reporters on Friday that he believes in the new deal and hopes it brings an end to the ongoing civil war.

"We all are aware that some of the political parties were not willing to sign and I am now happy to confirm to you all that all political parties in South Sudan will now sign the deal before you", he added.

President Kiir also said the remaining outstanding issues will be finalized with his rivals as soon as he arrives in Khartoum.

The conflict has also been driven by ethnic divisions - Kiir and Machar come from Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups respectively. The SPLM has said it contains several shortfalls, including a "serious lack of consistency in allocating power-sharing ratios at all levels of governance".

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