South Sudan forms unity government

imgSouth Sudan President Salva Kiir has named his transitional unity government, sharing power with ex-rebels in a key step in a long-delayed peace process, a decree read out on Friday said.
Under terms of an August 2015 peace deal, the 30 ministerial posts are split between Kiir, former rebel chief turned first vice president Riek Machar, opposition and other parties.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the naming of the ministers was an “important milestone” in the peace process, urging the parties “to cease immediately all hostilities”.
Kiir’s decree “for the appointment of ministers of the transitional government of national unity” – which is to remain in place until October 2018 – was broadcast on government radio on Friday morning.
Machar returned to the capital Juba on Tuesday and was immediately sworn into the post of vice president – a position he was sacked from five months before war broke out.
Fighting erupted in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup, claims he always denied.
The conflict, which has torn open ethnic divisions, has been characterised by horrific rights abuses, including gang rapes, the wholesale burning of villages and cannibalism.

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