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JUBA - 20 Feb 2020

Kiir, Machar agree to form unity government

Opposition leader Riek Machar has said he agreed with President Salva Kiir to form a unity government as originally planned - even if not all their differences have been resolved.

The two principles held talks in the capital Juba today to iron out outstanding disputes in the 2018 peace deal.

For his part, President Kiir confirmed that he agreed with opposition leader Riek Machar to form a transitional government by 22 February at the expiry of the 100-day extension to the peace deal.

Kiir said they agreed that the transitional government will take up any unfinished business.” We agreed to form the government and that pending things will be discussed within a unity government,” he explained.

The South Sudanese leader has promised protection to opposition leaders in Juba until the process of forming a unified army is completed.

"I have taken this responsibility as the president. My forces will be responsible for security in Juba until the training of the unified forces is completed, and if there are still pending things, we will continue with discussions until we reach an agreement," Kiir told journalists.

“I will appoint the vice presidents including Dr. Riek Machar tomorrow morning,” Kiir said.

President Kiir announced that he would dissolve the incumbent government before the formation of the transitional government on Saturday. He called on the people of South Sudan to embrace peace in the country.

The peace deal brokered by the East African bloc IGAD reinstates opposition leader Riek Machar as first vice-president, one of five vice-presidents.

The peace deal also provides for 35 ministries, 10 deputy ministers and 550 members of parliament during the transitional period.