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South Sudan parties agree on state governorships, in step closer to peace

UBA (Reuters) - South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and vice president Riek Machar have agreed on the process for nominating regional governors, a minister said on Wednesday, potentially eliminating a major stumbling block to a peace deal between them.

Riek Machar, former vice president and rebel leader, speaks during a news statement with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit (L) after their meeting in which they have reached a deal to form a long-delayed unity government in Juba, South Sudan December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Jok Solomun/File Photo

South Sudan ended five years of civil war in 2018 but disagreements between Kiir and Machar, who led the opposing sides, have prevented the peace process from being concluded.

Kiir’s party will nominate governors in six of the country’s 10 states, Machar’s will nominate three states and other South Sudan opposition parties the final one, Minister for Presidential Affairs Nhial Deng Nhial told a news conference.

Machar had previously opposed that arrangement but his office said a deal had now been agreed.

The two have also failed to work out a mechanism for integrating the country’s various armed groups.

The war killed an estimated 400,000 people, caused a famine and created Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Previous peace agreements have held for only a matter of months before fighting resumed.

Reporting by Denis Dumo, Editing by George Obulutsa and John Stonestreet

Source: Reuters

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