Kiir, Machar signed a deal allowing them to conduct future peace talks in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, February 1, 2015 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s rivals, President kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, have late Sunday signed a communique in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The deal which is not a peace agreement allows the two warring factions to conduct more consultations with their bases and engage in future peace talks.

The accord also requires both sides to stop military confrontations by the 5th of March.

The two leaders failed to agree on the recent IGAD’s power sharing proposal, causing the East African regional bloc, IGAD, to force them to sign a communique.

After many hours of intense discussion, it was clear that the two factions were not willing to accept power-sharing arrangements of the recently drafted power sharing proposal.

In the meeting, South Sudanese president asserted that there is no need for equal power-sharing arrangements and that all rebels should simply sign a peace agreement with the government; adding that his government is ready and willing to provide full amnesty to any rebel. 

Meanwhile, the rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar, urges IGAD heads of states and representatives of AU and Troika to find a real solution which he said can only be achieved through a real peace.

However, the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) has learned that the deal which has just been signed has nothing to do with IGAD’s recent power sharing proposal. The African Union (AU) source who has full knowledge of the talks revealed that the agreement is all about a Bahir Dar’s communique which was signed last year in a North-Western Ethiopian city, Bahir Dar. The source has also accused IGAD of giving itself a credit by ‘imposing its own unnamed interests in the peace process.

The Bahir Dar’s communique proposed that a future unity government should implement federalism and a unity government with 21-29 ministers. The document also states that justice and accountability, repatriation of refugees, and many other peace related deals should be prioritized.

Peace negotiations will resume on February 19.

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