New S Sudan peace deal will not collapse, says Kiir
August 03 2018 11:00 PM
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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir addresses a press conference during a visit of Sudan’s Foreign Minister Al Dirderi Mohamed Ahmed at state house, in Juba yesterday.

Agencies/Juba

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said yesterday he believed the new peace deal between his government and the main rebel group would not collapse because it was not forced upon them like previous accords.
At a news conference in Juba, Kiir said he would travel to Khartoum to sign the agreement at the ceremony tomorrow.
His arch foe Riek Machar, leader of the SPLM-IO rebel group which has fought Kiir’s forces intermittently since 2013, is also expected to attend.
Fuelled by personal and ethnic rivalries, the conflict has killed tens of thousands, displaced an estimated quarter of South Sudan’s population of 12mn and ruined its economy that heavily relies on crude oil production.
Previous peace agreements, the most recent in 2015, held for only a matter of months before fighting resumed.
Kiir put this down to external influences. Both the 2015 and the 2018 agreements were mediated by Sudan and other east African nations.
“The 2015 (deal) was forced on us, we were not given the opportunity to express our desire. This is why when I came to sign I gave my reservations,” Kiir said.
“People didn’t take me seriously until the agreement collapsed in their face.” 
But the new deal would not suffer the same fate, Kiir told reporters.
“This agreement (2018) will not collapse and I am sure that it will not collapse because the people of South Sudan have now agreed that they must make peace among themselves,” he said.
Negotiations for the peace deal had been completed and any outstanding issues with his opponents would be settled after signing of the deal, Kiir said.
The conflict has also been driven by ethnic divisions - Kiir and Machar come from Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups respectively. Some smaller opposition groups have expressed doubts over the new deal.
The SPLM has said it contains several shortfalls, including a “serious lack of consistency in allocating power-sharing ratios at all levels of governance”.
While Kiir said he was “committed” to the deal, he highlighted several challenges going forward, especially in accommodating a bloated government.
The deal stipulates that there will be 35 ministers in the transitional government - 20 from Kiir’s group and nine from Machar’s, while the rest will represent other groups.
The parliament will be comprised of 550 lawmakers, including 332 from Kiir’s group and 128 from Machar’s faction.
“They need security, they need vehicles, they need houses... five vice presidents, this is a very big responsibility to manage. I need to get for them their transport, and one person needs a motorcade of maybe five vehicles. Where will I get this?” said Kiir.






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