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South Sudan: Rivals sign power sharing agreement to avert ‘worst humanitarian crisis’

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In the push for lasting peace in South Sudan, political gladiators in the country have reached an agreement that would permit the sharing of power and control between the President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Vice-President Riek Machar.

The power sharing arrangement, which was signed on Sunday in Juba after mediation from neighbouring Sudan is to unify army command in a key development of the fragile peace agreement, signed in 2018.

It is a division of 60% for the president’s camp and 40% for vice-president control of leadership positions in the army, police and national security forces.

Series of peace accords have been signed by warring parties for some time now.  A renewed peace agreement was signed in September 2018 and centered on areas between the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (al-Hilu) (SPLM-N (al-Hilu) and on the Darfur track between the government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).

South Sudan’s Mining Minister and Representative of SPLM-IO, Martin Gama Abucha, stressed the importance of parties involved respecting the accord.

“Most important is not only the signing, but the implementation of these articles. We must implement what we are saying. The people of South Sudan expect us to do that” (…) The silence of the guns is most important to peace. We cannot continue to fight when we are talking peace in Juba so as much as we talk about peace, the guns must go down from today”, Abucha said.

Tensions between forces loyal to the president and former rebel leader Riek Machar had escalated recently, raising international fears of a return to full-scale conflict in the world’s youngest nation.

“For the national security of the Republic of South Sudan, which is an extension of consideration of Sudanese national security, this proposal was integrated and compatible and thank God that it has been agreed between all the parties regarding the order of distribution of commands leadership. This proposal has raised the road or time for the matrix to implement what was agreed in this proposal”, added Yassin Ibrahim Yassin, Sudan Minister of Defence.

As reported on slamreportafrica.com on Sunday, a United Nations Humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, Sara Beysolow Nyanti, has warned that the country faces its worst humanitarian crisis since the country gained independence in 2011.

The new agreement provides for the principle of power-sharing in a government of national unity, formed in February 2020 with Kiir as president and Machar as vice president.

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Exiled Ivory Coast politician, Charles Blé Goudé, returns home to cheering crowd. Old wounds opened?

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Exiled Ivorian politician, Charles Blé Goudé who was the right-hand man of former Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, is back home.

The Street General as he is fondly called is said to be allegedly involved in the violence that followed the 2011 presidential elections, returned home on Saturday after more than eight years abroad.

Thousands of supporters turned up to receive him at the airport after his arrival on a flight from Ghana’s capital, Accra, that was preceded by a heavy police presence.

Charles Blé Goudé while addressing the crowd said “in reality when I was told to come, it was frank, it was sincere. That is why I thank you here in Yopougon, the Ivorian authorities for having facilitated (my return, ed.) among you. If I see you today it is thanks to them.”

He thanked the Ivorian authorities for facilitating his return and said his “duty” was to “support the peace process”.

“I have arrived, I will gather all the information. In this same place, we will hold a political rally where I will discuss all the issues. And as the press is here, I ask them to come in a few weeks to a big press conference where we will discuss all the issues, I mean all the issues”, promised Blé Goudé.

The politician was arrested in Ghana in 2013 following the post-electoral crisis that engulfed the west African country in 2010. But the homecoming seems to be approved by the incumbent president, Alassane Ouattara, who in July pardoned his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé’s principal in the push for national reconciliation.

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Congo DR electoral body, CENI, announces date of presidential election

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The electoral authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) have announced dates for the next presidential election.

CENI on Saturday said the election will take place on December 20th next year.

The commission outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of miles, health concerns about Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, who already expressed his intention to run again. He might be running against Martin Fayulu, who continues to claim that he won the 2018 election and was denied victory.

Terrorist activities, largely by a rebel group, M23 have drawn reactions from stakeholders in the East Africa region and global observers. The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

According to the electoral authorities, insecurity remains the main challenge for the next elections.

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