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Machar denies deal on unified South Sudan forces

Machar denies deal on unified South Sudan forces

JUBA – South Sudan’s First Vice-President Riek Mach- ar has rejected government claims that he and President Salva Kiir had struck a deal on the unification of their forces.

Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomuro on Sun- day said the two had reached an agreement for a joint force which was critical for the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.

Machar’s office in a state-

ment termed the announce- ment as “false” adding that “the issue remains unre- solved.”

The minister had said the two leaders had agreed that the president’s party takes 60 percent share of the uni- fied forces with the remain- ing share being divided be- tween Machar’s party and other opposition parties.

Machar’s office said pre- vious talks had proposed an equal share between Pres-

ident’s Kiir’s party and his side while another proposal called for a 50:45 sharing.

President Kiir and Machar formed a unity government in February last year and agreed, as part of a revital- ised peace deal, to form a unified national army of 83, 000 forces.

Meanwhile, the govern- ments of Uganda and South Sudan have agreed to patrol the Nimule-Juba highway where drivers and travellers

have recently been attacked. The agreement comes af- ter lorry drivers were killed and bus travellers injured by

unknown militia.

Uganda’s First Depu-

ty Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga said there will be po- lice checks every 10km along the route.

South Sudan, which is re- covering from a brutal civil war, is heavily dependent on its neighbours for essential supplies. – BBC.

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