South Sudan president, ex-rebel leader agree to form unity government – President Kiir

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Riek Machar, former vice president and rebel leader, speaks during a news statement with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit (L) after their meeting in which they have reached a deal to form a long-delayed unity government in Juba, South Sudan December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Jok Solomun

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir said he and the country’s main former rebel leader reached a deal on Tuesday to form a long-delayed unity government.

Kiir and Riek Machar, who is now opposition leader, met over the past three days in the capital Juba to resolve outstanding disputes that prevented the formation of a coalition government in time for a Nov. 12 deadline.

There were international concerns that war could resume over the disputes.

Last month, the two leaders bought time by delaying the government’s formation for 100 days beyond that deadline.

Reporting by Denis Dumo; Writing by Giulia Paravicini; Editing by Maggie Fick and John Stonestreet

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