South Sudan’s rival leaders form coalition government

Opposition leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir. (File photo: Reuters)

South Sudan has opened a new chapter in its fragile emergence from civil war with rival leaders forming a coalition government.

Opposition leader Riek Machar was sworn in Saturday as the deputy of President Salva Kiir, a day after the previous government was dissolved.

That power arrangement between Kiir and Machar twice collapsed in fighting during the conflict that began in 2013 and killed nearly 400,000 people.

Numerous attempts at peace in South Sudan have failed. Intense international pressure has followed the most recent peace deal in 2018.

Kiir and Machar in the past year pushed back two deadlines to take the crucial step of forming the coalition government. But on Thursday, two days before the deadline, they announced they had agreed to form a government meant to lead to elections in three years’ time.

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Last Update: 12:15 KSA 15:15 - GMT 12:15
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