Machar Denies Deal on Unified South Sudan Forces

First Vice-President Riek Machar has denied a South Sudan government claim that his armed forces would be unified with those of President Salva Kiir.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomuro, Sunday said the two had reached an agreement for a joint force which was critical for the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.

Machar’s office in a statement termed the announcement as “false” and that “the issue remains unresolved”.

The minister said the two leaders had agreed to allocate 60% of the unified forces to the president’s party and the remaining 40% to Machar’s and other opposition parties.

“We have now come to the correct approach and it is agreed that we will now share 60:40 per cent,” said Lomuro.

The deal will help “to create one unified security sector that will be dedicated to the people of South Sudan rather than to a political party or political group”.

Machar’s office in previous talks said an equal share had been proposed between President Kiir’s party and his side, while another proposal called for a 50:45 share.

President Kiir and Machar formed a unity government in February last year and agreed, as part of a revitalised peace deal, to form a unified national army of 83,000 forces.


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