South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said he believed the new peace deal between his government and the main rebel group would not collapse because it was not forced upon them like previous accords.

At a news conference in Juba, Kiir said he would travel to Khartoum to sign the agreement at the ceremony on Sunday. His arch foe Riek Machar, leader of the SPLM-IO rebel group which has fought Kiir’s forces intermittently since 2013, is also expected to attend.

Fueled by personal and ethnic rivalries, the conflict has killed tens of thousands, displaced an estimated quarter of South Sudan’s population of 12 million and ruined its economy that heavily relies on crude oil production.

Some smaller opposition groups have expressed doubts over the new deal. The SPLM has said it contains several shortfalls, including a “serious lack of consistency in allocating power-sharing ratios at all levels of governance”.

Previous peace agreements, held for only a matter of months before fighting resumed. Kiir’s side will take 20 slots in the new 35-member government, while Machar’s SPLM-IO and other smaller opposition groups will take the rest.

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Aug 05, 2018 07:30 Asia/Tehran
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