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South Sudan's president declines to sign proposed peace deal

Aug 24, 2015 Following the proposal of a peace deal by regional leaders, South Sudan President Salva Kiir says he needs more time to decide whether or not to sign the deal.

The instability in South Sudan degenerated in December 2013 when a political row between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar spiraled into an armed conflict that reopened ethnic fault lines.

The row between the two political leaders has led to the death of over 10,000 persons, with not less than 2 million displaced.

In a move to bring lasting peace to Africa’s newest nation, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) had set Aug. 17 as the deadline to end the drawn-out talks. They also outlined proposals to end the fighting. The proposal designates a 30-month transition period with Kiir as president, with a first vice president post allocated to the rebels.

The proposal also stipulated that elections will be held two months after the end of the interim period in which both Salva Kiir and Riek Machar will be eligible to run.

According to Siyoum Mesfin, the IGAD lead mediator, president Kiir’s side had previously required two weeks before they could sign the peace deal that had already been accepted by the South Sudanese rebels.

“The government has in fact initialed this peace agreement. They have only initialed it because they have certain reservations. They have decided to go back to the country and consult with the constituencies after which in the next 15 days the government will come back to Addis Ababa to finalize the peace agreement,”

Africa Union Chairperson, Dr Dlamini-Zuma acknowledged that the strides taken so far were indeed steps forward and expressed hope that both parties would sign the peace deal to complete the agreement.

“It is not a complete step because other parties have signed but we still need one more but we are hopeful because the initialing was done so we are hopeful in the coming days consultations are made and finally they will be a complete agreement,”.

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