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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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5 parties now part of South Africa’s unity government— ANC

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South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has announced that negotiations with other parties are still underway as the party forms a government with five opposition parties.

The ANC was obliged to form coalitions with other political parties after last month’s election because it was unable to secure a parliamentary majority for the first time since the 1994 election that brought an end to apartheid.

The Democratic Alliance, led by white people and supportive of business, supported ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa in his reelection as president of South Africa’s parliament on Friday. Two smaller parties, the right-wing Patriotic Alliance and the socially conservative Inkatha Freedom Party, also supported the party.

The ANC said on Monday that GOOD, a smaller party, has also committed to join the unity government agreement. According to an ANC statement, this group holds 273 seats in the National Assembly or 68% of the total.

South Africa’s 400 seats make up its parliament. The IFP has 17 seats, the PA has 9 seats, the DA is the second-largest party with 87 seats, the ANC has 159 seats, and GOOD has one seat. According to the ANC, the unity government would guarantee that all involved parties had representation in government and would reach decisions by consensus.

The ANC stated that the unity government will prioritize land reform, infrastructure development, job creation, fixed capital investment promotion, and quick, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth.

“The president will exercise the prerogative to appoint the cabinet, in consultation with leaders of GNU (government of national unity) parties, adhering to existing protocols on government decision-making and budgeting,” the ANC said, adding it was still in discussions with more parties to join the government.

With 39 seats, the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters party has declared that it will not serve in a government with the Democratic Alliance (DA) or the Freedom Front Plus, two organizations that receive support from the white minority.

The former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto we Sizwe party is likewise not a member of the unity government. With 58 seats in the National Assembly, it has declared that it will join the EFF and the center-left United Democratic Movement in the “Progressive Caucus,” a group of minor opposition parties in parliament.

The unity government will face official resistance from this alliance.

“With populist parties choosing to reject the GNU, and the ANC’s bigger partners in the governing coalition centre-leaning and favouring more liberal economic policies, we think the GNU opens the possibility for more growth-friendly structural reforms and prudent macroeconomic policy choices,” HSBC economist David Faulkner said in a note.

“But the GNU could also face ideological divisions and exacerbate fractures within the ANC, factors that could make establishing a stable policy framework difficult.”

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South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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