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Will South Sudan know peace? Questions asked as Kiir and Machar sign accord to end brutal war

South Sudan’s warring parties signed a peace deal granting rebels key positions in a transitional government, the latest bid to end an almost five-year conflict that’s claimed tens of thousands of lives

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South Sudan’s warring parties signed a peace deal granting rebels key positions in a transitional government, the latest bid to end an almost five-year conflict that’s claimed tens of thousands of lives.

The accord will restore rebel leader Riek Machar as President Salva Kiir’s deputy, while appointing four other vice presidents and adding new posts for ministers and lawmakers. Following the collapse of a similar pact in July 2016, it will be the second attempt at a power-sharing government since the start of the civil war in the East African nation.

Kiir and Machar signed the deal -which came after weeks of incremental agreements — Sunday in Khartoum, the capital of neighboring Sudan. Other opposition politicians and rebel groups also took part in the ceremony.

“We shall rededicate ourselves soberly, our people, and go for peaceful transforming of power through dialogue and ballot boxes rather than the bullets of the guns,” Kiir said after signing.

Read Also: Mnangagwa wins in Zimbabwe but hope of peace deems

Celebrations erupted late Sunday in the streets of South Sudan’s capital, Juba, where a peace agreement is long-awaited. The nation has faced economic chaos because of a decline in oil income, while 4 million people have fled their homes and some areas have been on the verge of famine. Both government forces and rebels have been accused of atrocities and the United Nations Security Council recently imposed an arms embargo.

The warring parties now have eight months to form the government that’s supposed to last 36 months and eventually usher in South Sudan’s first elections since it seceded from Sudan in July 2011.

Kiir and Machar, who was fired as Kiir’s deputy months before the war erupted in December 2013, signed a broadly similar deal in 2015. It collapsed weeks into its enactment the following year, spurring a new wave of violence that fueled Africa’s biggest refugee crisis.

Machar eventually fled into exile and has yet to return to South Sudan.

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Ruling junta, politicians sign agreement for civil transition in Sudan. Will it work?

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An agreement for a civilian-led transition that will last for two years has been made between Sudanese political parties and the military.

The arrangement is toward elections and ends a sometimes violent standoff triggered by a coup in October 2021.

The power-sharing arrangement between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition was delayed due to the absence of a Prime Minister after a coup in 2021.

The military under the new arrangement agreed it would only be represented on a security and defence council headed by a prime minister.

The military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said civilians should control politics and guide foreign policy. Signatories applauded when he repeated a slogan used by protesters to call for the army to exit politics: “Soldiers belong in the barracks, and parties go to elections.”

Recall that Sudanese politician, Wagdi Salih was released from prison on Sunday ahead of the discussion surrounding the coalition agreement.

Meanwhile, the transition plan does not seem to have sat well with some session of the public as security officers fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters about 1-1/2km from the presidential palace on Monday over the development.

One of the protesters, 36-year-old state employee Ahmed Fateh al-Rahman, said. “We want justice for our martyrs, trial for the military, and civilian rule.” “We will defeat this agreement because it is an extension of the coup.”

Will the arrangement lead to lasting progress in the political crises facing the East African country?

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues of nutrition on the continent.

Fourteen member countries are participating in a two-day meeting which includes governments, experts, and cooperating partners.

The Vice President Permanent Secretary for Administration, Lilian Kapusana confirmed the journey on Tuesday.

Among other issues, the Vice President will reaffirm the commitments by the ruling government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

“Mrs. Nalumango will address the challenges and milestones made in food and nutrition together with our cooperating partners who gave implemented projects in addressing issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the country,” Ms. Kapusana said.

Participating countries at the summit are expected to reaffirm commitments to improving food and nutrition through agreements that will be signed during the course of the deliberations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that in 2021, six million children are affected by life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa.

Hopefully, the summit on nutrition will end with concrete measures to address some of the issues like land and crop degradation, periodic droughts and weather-related shocks, poverty, limited access to basic food staples and essential services, and population growth, which all contribute to emergency levels of malnutrition in the region.

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