Salva Kiir promises new peace deal "will not collapse"

South Sudan's homegrown peace deal will not fail- President Kiir

President Salva Kiir expressed hours ago confidence in the survival of the agreement of peace in principle subscribed days ago with his rival.

"This agreement will not collapse and I am sure that it will not collapse because the people of South Sudan have now agreed that they must make peace among themselves", Kiir told journalists.

The deal, which paves the way to a final peace accord aimed at ending the war in the world's youngest country, was signed in the presence of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his counterparts from Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti, along with foreign diplomats.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar shake hands during peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June.

Thousands of South Sudanese were massed outside the Friendship Hall in Khartoum to celebrate the peace deal.

Machar said, "there is no option but peace. we have to focus after this stage on implementing the agreement that if we don't implement, we will all be failures".

More details to come.

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On Friday, Kiir pledged the deal would "not collapse" because it, unlike the previous peace initiatives, had not been imposed by outside powers.

South Sudan opposition parties of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and other factions have refused to sign the deal over power-sharing disputes at the state level. "Where will I get this?"

It began when Mr Kiir fired his then deputy Mr Machar, accusing him of planning a coup - an allegation he denied.

Under the agreement, the transitional cabinet would be composed of 35 ministers, including 20 ministers from the government, and nine from the Machar-led Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO). The transitional Parliament will comprise 550 lawmakers, 332 from Kiir's side and 128 from Machar's faction.

The Khartoum peace talks are seen as the last chance at bringing peace to South Sudan.

A similar arrangement, however, fell apart in July 2016 when fighting erupted in the capital, Juba, and Machar fled the country.

With the country's agricultural sector severely disrupted, seven million South Sudanese - more than half of the population - will need food aid in 2018, the United Nations says.

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