South Sudan Rivals Agree to Share Power in Bid to End War

(Bloomberg) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar agreed to share power in a transitional government, even as other insurgents refused to back the accord that’s supposed to end an almost five-year civil war.

Machar and Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth signed the deal at a ceremony in Khartoum, the capital of neighboring Sudan. Their unitary government, set to take effect after a transitional period, will be the second one attempted since the start of the conflict in the oil-producing East African nation that’s claimed tens of thousands of lives.

A coalition of other rebel leaders participating in the talks left before the signing, casting doubt on how the deal can be implemented. In a statement Wednesday, they cited concern over their representation in state politics and the deal’s inclusion of a future referendum on state boundaries.

Addressing reporters, Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed said other groups may join the process later. A final peace agreement will be signed Aug. 5, he said.

The agreement is long-awaited in the nation that’s faced economic chaos because of a decline in oil income and where 4 million people have fled their homes and some areas have been on the verge of famine. Both government forces and rebels have been accused of atrocities, and the United Nations Security Council this month imposed an arms embargo.

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