South Sudan’s political rivals agree to unify army command

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As parts of a peace agreement signed in 2018, South Sudan rivals have agreed on a deal to form a unified armed forces command.

Tensions between President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar had recently led to clashes between their respective forces.

However, the new deal sets out terms of integrating opposition commanders into the armed forces.

With the new deal, President Kiir’s faction will have a 60% representation in key positions in the army, police and security forces while the opposition groups will occupy the remaining 40%.

Other details, including the positions allocated to each party, were not immediately available.

Both Kiir and Machar witnessed the signing ceremony in Juba, the South Sudan capital, where on Monday there was heavy military deployment, highlighting growing tensions.

“This is to inform everyone that we have agreed to unify the military command. We are for peace and that all of us should strive for peace,” said Tut Gatluak, a presidential advisor on national security.

Martin Gama Abucha, the mining minister who is a member of Machar’s team, said the event was key to maintain peace in the country.

“It is important that we silence the guns, so that South Sudan can prosper,” he said.

There were high hopes for peace and stability when oil-rich South Sudan gained its long-fought independence from Sudan in 2011. But the country slid into civil war in December 2013 largely based on ethnic divisions when forces loyal to Kiir battled those loyal to Machar.

Tens of thousands of people were killed in the civil war which ended with a 2018 peace agreement that brought Kiir and Machar together in a government of national unity.

 



Abisola Adebayo is a Reporter/Presenter/Social Media Manager for Tv360Nigeria. She is a first class graduate of the department of Mass Communication at Fountain University, Osogbo. Abisola is currently running her Masters Degree at the University of Lagos. The Social Media savvy young lady is ambitious and driven, likes trying new things and sets new goals for herself. Always looking for an opportunity to do better and achieve greatness.


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