SOUTH SUDANESE PARTIES POSTPONE SIGNING OF PEACE DEAL

JUBA, South Sudan’s negotiating parties have postponed the signing of a “preliminary” power-sharing deal in neighboring Sudan, an official said.

South Sudan’s Information Minister Michael Makuei told state radio that the warring parties disagreed over some outstanding issues that must be resolved before inking the deal.

“Unfortunately up to this moment, none of the parties is ready to sign and as a result, our negotiating team here has decided to send a team to Juba to consult with the leadership and the government of South Sudan and come back with the final outcome on the outstanding issues,” Makuei said from Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

Sudan is leading mediation efforts spearheaded by the East African regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in a bid to find political solution to the South Sudan conflict now in its fifth year.

Makuei said the factions disagreed on the areas of governance, expansion of parliament and the number of states.

On June 27, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in Khartoum and pledged to end fighting, but the pact was broken just hours after it took effect.

The South Sudanese leader on Thursday pledged to sign the power sharing agreement in order to end the devastating war in his country.

“We are still holding on. We are not going away from here without peace. We are optimistic that we will be able to sign this agreement in its final form,” Makuei said.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world. The UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 between the rival leaders under United Nations pressure led to the establishment of a transitional unity government, but was shattered by renewed fighting in July 2016.

Source: Nam News Network