Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

In this June 21, 2018, file photo, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, left, and opposition leader Riek Machar shake hands during peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Associated Press

South Sudan’s rival leaders on Thursday announced they have agreed to form a coalition government just two days before the deadline, a breakthrough after months of delays and a major step in the emergence from a five-year civil war that killed nearly 400,000 people in the world’s youngest nation.

The rival leaders had twice missed deadlines in the past year to form the transitional government that is expected to lead to elections in three years’ time, much to the impatience of the United States and others. Without that new government, many feared, South Sudan might slide into fighting again.

Opposition leader Riek Machar told reporters in the capital, Juba, he and President Salva Kiir agreed that after the government’s formation they will resolve any outstanding issues laid out in a September 2018 peace deal. Machar said he is confident they will address them all.

Story continues below advertisement

Kiir said the new government will be formed on Saturday and he will appoint Machar as his first vice-president, or top deputy, on Friday. That arrangement has twice led to conflict – once when the civil war erupted in late 2013 and again in mid-2016 after Machar returned to the post under a previous peace deal. He ended up fleeing the country on foot.

The president said security arrangements, one crucial issue, will be resolved after the government’s formation. He said the protection of Machar and others with the opposition will be under his responsibility.

“As for the other details that we have yet to agree upon, we will continue to iron and negotiate them out,” Kiir said.

Another politically sensitive issue, the number of states, appears to have been resolved after Kiir over the weekend announced a “painful” compromise of 10 plus three administrative areas, down from 32.

The changes are for the sake of peace to prevail, Kiir said Thursday. And he called on the more than 2 million people who fled South Sudan during the conflict to finally come home.

South Sudan’s civil war broke out just two years after the nation danced in the streets to celebrate a long-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.

The United States, which has applied sanctions and other pressure to get South Sudan’s rival sides to make a lasting peace, quickly welcomed Thursday’s announcement.

Story continues below advertisement

Major challenges in the peace process remain, including the delicate process of integrating tens of thousands of former rival forces into a united army. That process has been marked by delays, the United Nations and others have said, noting that some of the forces appear to be poorly provisioned.

And widespread abuses such as the recruitment of child soldiers and sexual violence continue, a new report by the UN Commission on Human Rights on South Sudan said Thursday.

“The world has forgotten South Sudan,” the International Rescue Committee’s country director, Susan Purdin, said this week, adding that the South Sudanese people deserve to live free from fear. “With the formation of the unity government, faith in the country will be restored.”

Some observers, including peace deal guarantor Sudan, saw a sign of hope with Thursday’s announcement. The deputy head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, said he appreciated the outcome of Kiir and Machar’s meeting on resolving the issues that remain.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies