South Sudan's main opposition agrees to sign final peace deal
KHARTOUM, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan's major opposition group on Tuesday agreed to sign on a final peace deal after declining to do so earlier on the day, announced Sudan's Foreign Ministry in a statement.
The latest round of South Sudan peace talks ended earlier on Tuesday in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, where South Sudan's government and other political parties signed a final deal on ending the internal conflict.
However, the major opposition group, Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by Riek Machar, had declined to sign the deal.
"The Sudanese mediation on Tuesday embarked on intensive talks with the leader of the SPLM-IO Riek Machar, where Machar agreed to sign the final peace deal with initial letters on Thursday, Aug. 30," Sudan's Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed said in the statement.
He promised to submit the points which Machar asked to consider to the summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and request a mandate to discuss them.
Earlier on the day, Manawa Peter, SPLM-IO's spokesman, said to reporters that his group refused to sign the deal due to its disagreement with a decision-making mechanism in the executive and legislative body and rejection to establishing a commission to revise the constitution.
Since Aug. 13, Sudan has been hosting the third round of the South Sudan peace talks, with the aim to reach a comprehensive peace agreement to complement two previous deals the parties signed earlier in Khartoum.
On June 27, the South Sudanese rivals signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement on South Sudan, followed by the signing of another deal on security arrangements and power-sharing on Aug. 5.
Earlier, the South Sudanese opposition alliance demanded revision of the administrative division of South Sudan and reconsideration of the number of the 32 states.
In October 2015, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir issued a decree to dissolve the Council of the States, which operated under the administrative division of 10 states, while establishing 28 states.
In January 2017, Kiir issued a separate decree establishing an additional four states, bringing to 32 the total number of states in South Sudan.