South Sudan’s warring parties reach deal on security arrangements

South Sudan’s government and armed opposition have reached an agreement on security arrangements during their negotiations in Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

The peace talks between the South Sudanese government and rebels, being held in Khartoum under the patronage of Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir, are part of the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to end nearly five years of civil war in South Sudan.

Sudan News Agency (SUNA) on Thursday quoted Sudanese Army Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami as saying that the two South Sudanese sides had finalized a deal on security arrangements and prepared a draft to be signed at an unspecified date in the presence of President Bashir. He added that the deal covered four major issues – clearing population centers of armed forces, a time frame to unify and reorganize South Sudan’s military, setting up a joint security committee, and deciding on areas where forces are to be based.

Last month, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir signed a framework agreement with rebel leader Riek Machar in Khartoum providing for a ceasefire, paving the way for talks toward a full treaty.

But rebels immediately rejected some elements of the accord and both sides have accused each other of violating the truce, trading blame for attacks that have killed 18 civilians.

South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011. Two years later, South Sudan plunged into war after a political dispute between President Kiir and then-Vice President Machar exploded into a military confrontation.

Source: International Islamic News Agency