South Sudan rebels to sign latest draft deal

KHARTOUM: Sudan said that South Sudanese rebels will sign the latest draft of a comprehensive peace deal with the Juba government later this week after assurances that a power-sharing accord inked earlier this month will be honoured. President Salva Kiir and the leader of the main rebel group, Riek Machar, signed up to the ceasefire and power-sharing agreement earlier this month after an initial deal in June aimed to end fighting that first broke out in 2013. Kiir’s government and some small opposition groups had initialled the draft at a ceremony hosted by Khartoum outside the Sudanese capital earlier on Tuesday, but Machar’s SPLM-IO and another rebel group refused to sign, saying that disputes over power sharing and a new constitution had been left out.
The agreement is intended to end years of civil war in Africa’s youngest state that has killed thousands of people. “Intensive negotiations with Dr Riek Machar… has led to Dr Riek Machar agreeing to initial the final peace agreement the day after tomorrow, on Thursday, August 30,” Sudanese Foreign Minister Al Dirdiri Mohamed said in a statement. He said Khartoum assured Machar that the points he had raised would be taken up at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a gathering of east Africa nations that has been trying to end the war in South Sudan. Sudan has brokered talks between Kiir and various rebel groups in Khartoum this year. — Reuters