South Sudan parties sign power sharing deal

South Sudan's then vice president Riek Machar (left) and President Salva Kiir pay their respects at John Garang's Mausoleum in Juba on the second anniversary of South Sudan becoming an independent state on July 9, 2013. Andrea Campeanu / Reuters

South Sudan warring parties have signed a final power-sharing agreement meant to end five years of civil war.

The ceremony on Wednesday evening in the Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, follows an agreement reached last month by President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.

It was a “final final” deal, government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told the Associated Press news agency.

Under the deal, President Kiir will maintain his position while Mr Machar will return to government as one of five vice-presidents to be appointed in an expanded transitional government.

The rival groups will then have three months to form a transitional government under the new format.  That transitional government will hold power for three years.

But a similar peace agreement signed in 2015 collapsed months later, throwing the country into further violence.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict which broke out about two years after South Sudan’s independence.