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Feelings Of Hope For South Sudan

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir’s agreeing to sign the latest deal to restore peace has raised a glimmer of hope for the people of a country that has not known peace since fighting broke out in December 2013.

The United States announced on Thursday last week that President Kiir told Secretary of State John Kerry he had decided to sign the peace agreement after “a couple more days of consultation,” a position the US described as “encouraging.”

“President Kiir assured the secretary that he has every intention of signing the peace agreement,” spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“He said he needed a couple of more days of consultations but he made it very clear it was his intention to sign, which is encouraging.”

President Kiir declined to sign the peace deal proposed by regional leaders earlier in the week, saying he required more time.

The peace deal, officially known as Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, entails a power-sharing arrangement that gives the government 53 per cent at the national level and 33 per cent to the armed opposition led by traitor Riek Machar, seven percent to former detainees and seven per cent to other political parties in the transitional government of national unity.

Former vice president and Western-backed rebel leader Riek Machar has been charged with treason for his role in an attempted coup against the government of South Sudan

Under the new proposal, the armed opposition will get 15 per cent in the seven states not affected by war but which were previously left entirely in the hands of the government.

President Kiir had declined to sign the deal on August 17, prompting Western threats of an arms embargo against Juba, asset freezes for the political class and travel restrictions.