Ethiopia Welcomes South Sudan Rivals’ Security Pact

ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has welcomed the latest security accord between South Sudan leaders to unify their armed forces.

President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar agreed on the creation of a unified armed forces command on Sunday.

Responding to the latest deal, Prime Minister Abiy tweeted “Ethiopia welcomes today’s key agreement” eached by President Kiir and Vice President Machar.

“Ethiopia stands in solidarity with South Sudan and continues to stand ready to support efforts towards lasting peace and development,” he said.

The issue was one of several crucial unresolved areas holding up implementation of the 2018 deal to end a civil war in the neighbouring nation, reported AFP news agency from Juba.

Kiir and Machar were present at the ceremony in Juba for the signing of the accord, which stipulates a 60-40 distribution of key leadership posts in the army, police and national security forces, reports AFP news agency from Juba.

Minister of presidential affairs Barnaba Marial Benjamin hailed the deal as a “necessary step… that opens a route for the stable government of the Republic of South Sudan”.

Ethiopian delegation’s visit

On Friday, an Ethiopian delegation led by Defense Minister Abraham Belay, met and delivered Prime Minister Abiy’s ’s message President Kiir, according to the ministry of foreign affairs.

The Ministry said Abraham expressed Ethiopia’s concerns, as a friendly country, regarding the issues observed lately over the implementation of South Sudan’s Peace Deal.

He further affirmed his country’s commitment to providing all the necessary support for the successful implementation of the deal.

President Kirr, on his part, appreciated the unwavering stance of Ethiopia to support peace and stability efforts in South Sudan further extending appreciation for Abiy’s concern and Initiative to sending a delegation to South Sudan.

The issue observed recently in the country has roots in the complex nature of the implementation of the Peace Deal, the President said, reaffirming the proper handling of the case.

Abraham also had a meeting with First Vice President Machar, where the First Vice President appreciated Ethiopia’s role in bringing about the South Sudanese Peace Deal and called on Ethiopia to continue its support to the success of the deal.

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