South Sudanese Leaders Break Power-Sharing Deadlock 

(Bloomberg) --

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar agreed on regional power sharing, resolving a hurdle that threatened to unravel a peace deal struck to end one of Africa’s most deadly crises.

The settlement reached on Wednesday gives Kiir control of six of ten states. Those are the oil-rich Unity state, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, Lakes, Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Minister of Presidential Affairs Nhial Deng Nhial told reporters in the capital, Juba. Machar takes the other oil-producing state of Upper Nile as well as Western Bahr el Ghazal and Western Equatoria. The South Sudan Opposition Alliance, also party to the peace deal, will control Jonglei state.

While Kiir and former rebel leader Machar formed a unity government in February, issues on the country’s states structure and the composition of a national army remained unresolved, and were partly blamed for recent killings among communities. Troops allied to the two men are still being trained about a new security arrangement.

“Matters pertaining to the composition of the executive and the legislative branches of the state governments shall be discussed and agreed to at a later date,” Nhial said.

READ: Squabble for Regional Control Strains South Sudan Peace Plan

The conflict in South Sudan has claimed almost 400,000 lives since late 2013, forced four million people to leave their homes and caused an economic crisis. The fighting devastated oil production in a region that produced low-sulfur crude, prized among environmentally conscious power-plant operators in Japan and elsewhere.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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