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Growing insecurity in South Sudan,Power-sharing agreement between the government and rebels

By Tajuddin
Jan 8th, 2016
Rebel militias in South Sudan

Rebel militias in South Sudan

Juba, South Sudan (Xinhua + DIPLOMAT.SO)- The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported on Friday that localised fighting between armed groups and government soldiers in the South Sudanese state of Western Equatoria is spurring new displacement in and from the African country.

According to the agency, sporadic gunfire is commonplace while a breakdown in the rule of law is further compounding an increasingly volatile situation in and near Yambio, a city located some 300 kilometres from the South Sudanese capital Juba.

UN estimates 15,000 people have been displaced in Western Equatoria’s Yambia and Tambura counties since the start of December.

Worsening violence is also forcing people to flee their homes and seek refuge in neighbouring Uganda where 500 refugees have been arriving every day since the beginning of the week.

This follows last month’s fighting in Western Equatoria which had already displaced more than 4,000 people into a remote region of north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Reports suggest that as well as the violence, food insecurity due to failed crops is also driving people to flee their homes.

South Sudan’s government, rebels agree on sharing power

South Sudan’s government and rebels have agreed on sharing the country’s ministries for a proposed transitional government, according to the Joint Monitoring and evaluation Commission (JMEC) of the Inter-Government Authority for Development in Africa (IGAD).

“South Sudan government and the opposition group have agreed on a transitional government and allocation of ministries during joint talks in Juba,” said Festus Mogae, former Botswana president and head of the JMEC, in a statement late Thursday.

He said the two sides agreed on a transitional government consisting of 30 ministries, with 16 ministries going to the government, 10 to the rebels, two to the political detainees group and two to the other political parties.

The ministries of defense, finance, justice, and information are among the portfolios that will go to the current government.

The rebel group, led by former Vice-President Riek Machar, meanwhile, will take among others the ministries of petroleum, interior and water resources and irrigation.

The ministries of foreign affairs and international cooperation and transport will go to former detainees group, while the ministries of cabinet affairs and agriculture and food security will go to other political parties.

The South Sudanese parties’ agreement on sharing the ministries paves the way for the formation of a transitional government of national unity by January 22 as scheduled by the JMEC.

In August last year, the South Sudanese rivals signed a peace deal under the patronage of the IGAD to end the violence in the new-born country.

The signed deal grants the current government a legislation majority, the presidency and 53 percent of the ministerial portfolios.

It gives the rebels the position of first vice president and 33 percent of ministerial portfolios, while the remaining 14 percent was allotted for other opposition groups, excluding the Greater Upper Nile region (Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States) where 53 percent were proposed to go to the rebels and 33 for the current government.

South Sudan nosedived into violence in December 2013, with fighting erupting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and defectors led by his former deputy Machar.

The conflict soon turned into a full-fledged war, as violence espoused an ethnic element pitting the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The clashes left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced 1.9 million individuals to flee their homes.

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