South Sudan peace deal: key points to end war
Rebel chief Riek Machar met a Monday deadline to sign the power-sharing agreement, but President Salva Kiir only initialled part of it and said he would return to the table in early September to finalise the accord.
Government officials have called the deal to end 20-months of war a “sellout”. Rebels say they still want a military solution.
The peace proposal has been put forward by the regional eight-nation bloc IGAD, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, as well as the United Nations, African Union, China and the “troika” of Britain, Norway and the United States.
“This is not for negotiation anymore, this is for signing,” chief mediator Seyoum Mesfin said late Tuesday in Ethiopia, when the 72-page deal was released. Here are the key points.
– Ceasefire –
Fighting must end immediately, with a “permanent ceasefire” beginning 72 hours after signing.
Military forces have 30 days to gather for “separation, assembly and cantonment” — or confinement to barracks, with their weapons secured in storage — with a security review ahead of an eventual reunification of forces.
– Foreign forces out –
All foreign forces in the war — Ugandan troops backing Kiir — must leave within 45 days.
Foreign militia forces, including rebels from neighbouring Sudan’s Darfur and Nuba mountain regions, must also be disarmed and sent home.
No troops are allowed closer than 25 kilometres (15 miles) to the capital Juba. Only presidential guards, police and guard forces protecting infrastructure can remain in the city.
Child soldiers and prisoners of war must be released, and free access given to aid workers.
– First vice-president –
The deal gives rebels the post of “First Vice President”, alongside the current vice-president. That means Machar would likely return to the post he was sacked from in July 2013, six months before the war began.
Signatories also take responsibility for the war, “apologising unconditionally” for the tens of thousands killed in a conflict marked by widespread atrocities on both sides.
– Transitional government –
A “Transitional Government of National Unity” begins 90 days after the signing of the deal, lasting a further 30 months.
Elections must be held 60 days before the end – meaning that if Kiir signs in September, polls would be slated for early 2018.
At a national level, the government gets 53 percent of ministerial posts and rebels 33 percent, with the remaining seats for other parties.
In seven of the 10 states, the government will get 85 percent of ministerial posts. But in the battleground states of Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile, the government gets 46 percent and the rebels 40 percent of posts.
In Unity and Upper Nile states, the main oil regions and some of hardest hit areas by the war, the rebels also select the powerful post of governor.
– War crimes court –
A Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing will be set up to investigate “all aspects of human rights violations.”
A “Hybrid Court”, set up in collaboration with the African Union, will try crimes including possible genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes cases.
Those indicted cannot be part of the transitional government.
“No one shall be exempted from criminal responsibility on account of their official capacity as a government official, an elected official or claiming the defence of superior orders,” the deal says.
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