South Sudan’s political rivals agree to unify army command

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Clashes in recent days between government troops and forces loyal to Vice President Riek Machar raised the threat of another outbreak of serious fighting. In a letter to regional mediators, Machar had accused President Salva Kiir of violating a 2018 truce, citing attacks on his forces.

Sunday’s agreement calls for a unified structure in the security services, including the army and the police.

Other details, including the positions allocated to each party, were not immediately available.

Both Kiir and Machar witnessed the signing ceremony in Juba, the South Sudan capital.

“This is to inform everyone that we have agreed to unify the military command. We are for peace and that all of us should strive for peace,” said Tut Gatluak, a presidential advisor on national security.

According to Martin Gama Abucha, the mining minister who is a member of Machar’s team, the event was key to maintaining peace in the country.

“It is important that we silence the guns so that South Sudan can prosper,” he said.

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