South Sudan's rival leaders sign power-sharing agreement

Khartoum: All systems ready for South Sudan peace deal

"Whoever signs this agreement will be committed to it", Kiir said, adding that this will mark a departure from past agreements that have collapsed.

The agreement also outlines guidelines on power sharing and governance, including settling boundary disputes which will be guided by a boundary commission and provides for an avenue for the people of South Sudan to participate in a referendum if need be to settle those rows.

Present at the signing ceremony were Sudanese President Omar Bashir, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Djibouti President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh and other regional and worldwide representatives.

Thousands of South Sudanese were massed outside the Friendship Hall in Khartoum to celebrate the peace deal. I believe that this agreement will continue to be implemented within the spirit and letter.

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This leaves many in South Sudan doubtful on whether the deal would end the 5-year civil war in the country.

Mr Kiir said on Friday he was more confident that the current deal would work because it had not been "forced on us" unlike previously. This is why when I came sign.

South Sudan's almost five year conflict began after Kiir accused his sacked vice president Machar of plotting a coup against him in 2013.

Other four vice presidents will be appointed from other political groups in addition to 35 ministers and 550 members of parliament.

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But Bashir said with South Sudan expected to resume oil production, Juba would raise enough funds not only for the huge administration costs but also reconstruction of the broken road infrastructure network.

Negotiations for the peace deal had been completed and any outstanding issues with his opponents would be settled after signing of the deal, Kiir said.

A similar peace deal was signed in 2015 but fell apart a year later in a deadly battle that saw Machar flee into exile. The conflict between the two rivals is aggravated by tribal divisions: President Kiir belongs to the dominant Dinka tribe, and Machar is an ethnic Nuer.

"By signing this agreement the guns must keep silent", said Nicholas Haysom, special United Nations envoy to Sudan and South Sudan.

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