South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar declined to sign the latest draft of a peace deal with Salva Kiir’s government that was aimed at ending years of long conflict, Sudan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Last month, Machar’s rebels and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir signed up to a ceasefire and power-sharing agreement igniting hope of peace being realized in the world’s youngest nation.
Machar’s decline to append his signature on the peace draft signals how difficult it will be to implement a full agreement. Previous signed peace deals have only been held for a few months before fighting resuming in South Sudan.
Sudan has helped to broker talks this year between various South Sudanese rebel groups and Kiir.
In 2013, civil war erupted in South Sudan, less than two years after the country gained its independence from Somalia. The war has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions internally displaced.
The warring sides in June signed an initial agreement that was to end fighting but the rebel leader, Machar rejected some proposals such as having three different capitals in South Sudan to distribute power.
President Salva Kiir has blamed the collapse of previous peace agreements on foreign influence.