South Sudan peace deal under pressure from rebel chiefs

South Sudan peace deal under pressure from rebel chiefs

IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan Ismail Wais will meet with South Sudanese rebel chiefs Thomas Cirillo today and Paul

paul malong talks south sudan

Photo: Reuters

IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan Ismail Wais will meet with South Sudanese rebel chiefs Thomas Cirillo today and Paul Malong on Sunday in Addis Ababa.

After a series of failed peace deals to put an end to the civil war in South Sudan, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar reached yet another accord in September. This agreement allowed Mr Machar to resume his role as vice president in exchange for a ceasefire while negotiations over a transitional government took place.

But two other rebel leaders, Thomas Cirillo and Paul Malong, remain opposed to the September deal, citing delays to negotiations over a transitional government and no promises from the government of greater autonomy in the regions of the country where they exert influence. This has stoked fears that hostilities could resume.

The preservation of the peace deal rests in the hands of Mr Machar, who has the political influence to convince the discontented rebel chiefs to stand down and accept the deal. Mr Machar will likely only be able to convince them to support the deal if he receives a promise from President Kiir assuring the rebels that a deal on a new government will be promptly reached, giving the chiefs and their supporters a degree of autonomy from the South Sudanese central government.

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