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South Sudan Rivals Agree On Unified Armed Forces

South Sudan rivals have signed an agreement on the formation of a unified armed forces command, a key pillar of a peace agreement signed in 2018.

The deal was signed on Sunday in the capital, juba, following mediation by neighboring Sudan.

Tensions between President Salva Kiir and first vice-president Riek Machar had recently led to clashes between their respective forces.

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The deal sets out terms of integrating opposition commanders into the armed forces.

President Kiir’s faction will have a 60% representation in key positions in the army, police and security forces. Mr. Machar’s SPLM-IO and other opposition groups will occupy the remaining 40%.

The opposition will submit the list of their commanders within a period of one week.

It will be followed by the graduation of the unified armed forces and their deployment – which should not exceed a period of two months, according to the deal.

The regional bloc, the intergovernmental authority on development (IGAD), has hailed the deal as “a major breakthrough”.

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