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South Sudan political rivals delay unity government

South Sudan’s president and a former rebel leader have agreed to delay forming a unity government for 100 days beyond the Nov. 12 deadline.

Uganda’s presidency said such a move is aimed at buying time due to concerns that war could resume if the two sides were pushed.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar held a meeting in Uganda as part of efforts to resolve outstanding issues preventing the formation of a coalition government.

The political rivals this year agreed on a unity government months after signing a deal to end the civil war in that country last year.

The new administration is expected to be in place by mid-November, with hopes it would end the current political crisis.

A breakdown in relations between President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Machar sparked a civil war, killing hundreds of people and displaced millions.

The new deal is to provide for five vice presidents for South Sudan and protect a power sharing arrangement.

Per the deal former Vice-President Machar is expected to return to his former position. The transitional government would govern for three years.

The most recent deal was signed in 2015 but it did not help to end the conflict. South Sudan gained independence in 2011 from north Sudan but fighting broke out two years later.

The key issues for negotiators has been guaranteeing the safety of Machar and his troops and how to de-militarise Juba.

Reducing the number of regional states in South Sudan to an agreeable number also remains a thorn in the flesh for negotiators.

“This is good and will enable the security arrangements to be completed if resources are availed as required”, spokesman for Riek Machar, Lam Paul Gabriel told Reuters.


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