South Sudan President & Rebel Leader Riek Machar Announces Unity Deal

Africa News

The feuding South Sudan leaders President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar announced that they had agreed to form a unity government in a bid to end the ruinous civil war they began soon after the country was formed in 2011.

President Salva Kiir in a bid to put the interest of the country first said that he will appoint rebel leader Riek Machar as his first vice president, or top deputy in a new government that will be formed on Saturday. Kiir further added that the protection of Machar and others with the opposition will be under his responsibility.

Rebel Leader Riek Machar also added in regard to the peace and unity meeting on Thursday that "We have agreed to form the government in two days on 22nd February. We are still discussing other things and I am hopeful we will resolve them all,".

Kiir and Machar - who lives in exile - are under increasing international pressure to resolve their differences by a February 22 deadline.

South Sudan's civil war broke out just two years after mass celebrations after gaining hard-fought independence from Sudan. The conflict badly hurt the oil-rich nation's economy, and roughly half the country's 12 million people are hungry today.