South Sudan president rejects power-sharing deal with rebels
Iran Press TV
Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:47PM
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has rejected a proposed power-sharing deal with rebels aimed at putting an end to 15 months of civil war in the country.
Addressing a political rally in the capital city of Juba on Wednesday, Kiir ruled out the proposal put forward recently during talks brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an eight-country trade bloc in Africa.
"I don't agree with the suggestion that [rebel leader] Riek [Machar] be given the position of vice president," Kiir said, adding, "I don't accept the issue of the two armies."
Earlier this month, IGAD brought together delegations of South Sudan's government and rebels in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to convince the two sides to settle issues, among them power sharing. However, the warring parties missed the bloc's March 5 deadline to reach a peace agreement.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the South Sudanese president dismissed the threat of sanctions by the United Nations, saying any measures would be counterproductive.
"I am disappointed by some members of the international community (who seek) to impose sanctions on South Sudan rather than encouraging peace building," he said.
On March 3, the UN Security Council unanimously voted in favor of imposing global travel bans and assets freeze against individuals loyal to Kiir and his former deputy, Machar, for blocking peace efforts.
South Sudan plunged into chaos in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to the president and defectors led by Machar around the capital. Sporadic violence still persists in parts of the world's newest nation as the rebels and government blame each other for violating multiple truce agreements.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the start of the conflict, while 1.5 million have been displaced and 2.5 million more are reported to be in dire need of food aid in South Sudan, which declared its independence from Sudan in 2011.
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