South Sudan

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South Sudan leaders reach 'final final' deal

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

South Sudan"s President Salva Kiir (R) and his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar (L) shake hands as they make a last peace deal
Rebel leader Riek Machar (left) and President Salva Kiir signed the deal in Addis Ababa

South Sudan warring parties have signed a final power-sharing agreement meant to end five years of civil war.

The ceremony on Wednesday evening in the Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, follows an agreement reached last month by President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.

It was a “final final” deal, government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told the Associated Press news agency.

Under the deal, President Kiir will maintain his position while Mr Machar will return to government as one of five vice-presidents to be appointed in an expanded transitional government.

But a similar peace agreement signed in 2015 collapsed months later, throwing the country into further violence.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict which broke out about two years after South Sudan's independence.

South Sudan: Verdict due on soldiers accused of rape

The case is widely seen as a test of the country's ability to hold soldiers to account
In South Sudan, the verdict is expected on Thursday in a case which is widely seen as a test of the country's ability to hold its military to account. Eleven soldiers are accused of  gang raping foreign aid workers and murdering a local journalist. 

The incident in the capital, Juba, took place in July 2016 as rival forces in the civil war clashed in the city. A UN report accused UN peacekeepers of failing in their duty to protect civilians.

Akshaya Kumar, Deputy UN Director for Human Rights Watch, explains why the ruling is so important for the country.

(Photo: 13 soldiers are on trial at military court in Juba. Credit: Getty Images)

Wife of detained South Sudanese activist speaks of family ordeal

South Sudanese academic and activist Peter Biar Ajack detained for weeks without charge.
The rights watchdog, Amnesty International published claimed that the South Sudanese  government is routinely carrying out arbitrary arrests and even torturing people to the point of death.  
One of the cases they highlight is that of the British-based South Sudanese analyst and academic Peter Biar Ajak who was arrested by the National Security Service at Juba International Airport on Saturday 28 July. The authorities claim there are only a handful of political prisoners still behind bars. Yet Peter has been detained for five weeks without being told why, his wife Nyathon Hoth tells her ordeal.

(Image: South Sudanese solider siting in pick-up truck in the capital Juba. Credit: Reuters)

Amnesty: Hundreds tortured by South Sudan government

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

President of South Sudan Salva Kiir speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony of the national broadband in Juba
Getty Images
President Salva Kiir's office denies the allegations

Amnesty International says hundreds of people have been detained and tortured by the South Sudanese authorities during the civil war which began in 2013.

The rights group says many of them are political detainees accused of being linked to the opposition and there have been cases of detainees being sexually assaulted.

It says there are also cases of enforced disappearances.

Amnesty says the South Sudanese government has become increasingly intolerant of any form of criticism.

A spokesman for President Salva Kiir, Ateny Wek Ateny, denied the allegations of torture and said more than 20 political detainees were recently released and no more than three were still being held.

South Sudan rebel leader 'refusing to sign deal'

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

L: South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar C: Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni R: South Sudan President Salva Kiir
Riek Machar (L) and Salva Kiir (R) have been under pressure from regional leaders to make peace

South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar has refused to sign the latest draft of a peace deal aimed at ending five years of civil war.

The mediator of the peace talks, Sudan's Foreign Minister Al Dirdiri Mohamed, said Mr Machar as well as a smaller rebel group had refused to sign.

President Salva Kiir and Mr Machar, his former deputy, signed up to a ceasefire in June and a power-sharing agreement last month but the details of a final deal are still being negotiated.

The civil war broke out in 2013 less than two years after South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan.

A quarter of the country's population has been displaced by the conflict.

Amnesty granted to South Sudan rebels

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

President Salva Kiir (L) and rebel leader Riek Machar
President Salva Kiir (L) and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a power-sharing deal three days ago

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has given a blanket amnesty to rebels, including his rival Riek Machar, state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) reports.

The announcement comes days after the government and rebel groups signed a power-sharing deal in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, aimed at ending a nearly five-year civil war that has killed tens of thousands and forced millions of people from their homes.

A presidential decree, read out on state TV, said President Kiir had granted a general amnesty to "the leader of SPLM-IO [Sudan People's Liberation Movement - in Opposition], Dr Riek Machar Teny, and other estranged groups that waged war against the government of the Republic of South Sudan from 2013 to date".

Fighting broke out in December 2013 after President Kiir accused his sacked deputy Mr Machar of plotting a coup.

Mr Machar denied the charges, but then mobilised a rebel force to fight the government.

South Sudan's warring parties have also signed security arrangement deals as part of an ongoing peace process, mediated and brokered by the regional bloc Igad.