In Summary
  • Machar had initially refused to approve the deal on Tuesday, before finally agreeing to it after mediation by Khartoum.

  • The deal has already been approved by Juba, and on Thursday Machar's group and representatives of some other rebel factions initialled it, an AFP correspondent reported.

  • "The final signing of the peace deal will happen at a summit of IGAD," Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed said, referring to the East African bloc that has pushed the latest initiative to end the war.

KHARTOUM,

South Sudanese rebel chief Riek Machar on Thursday approved a peace deal with Juba that is expected to be formally signed at a summit of regional leaders, a Sudanese mediator said.

Machar and arch-foe South Sudan's President Salva Kiir have held weeks of talks in Khartoum in search of a comprehensive peace deal to end the conflict, which has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions since 2013.

The warring parties have already inked several agreements, including a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing deal that sees Machar returning as first vice president.

Machar had initially refused to approve the deal on Tuesday, before finally agreeing to it after mediation by Khartoum.

The deal has already been approved by Juba, and on Thursday Machar's group and representatives of some other rebel factions initialled it, an AFP correspondent reported.

"The final signing of the peace deal will happen at a summit of IGAD," Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed said, referring to the East African bloc that has pushed the latest initiative to end the war.

"The date for the summit will be announced soon," he said, adding negotiations in Khartoum had now ended.

On Tuesday, Machar and other opposition groups said they had some reservations concerning the accord that had not been acknowledged.

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