South Sudan’s Kiir and Machar reach deal on unity goverment

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit (R) shake hands with ex-vice president and former rebel leader Riek Machar before their meeting in Juba, South Sudan, on September 11, 2019. (Photo by AKUOT CHOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read AKUOT CHOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

FILE PHOTO: South Sudan’s ex-vice president and former rebel leader Riek Machar (L) meets with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir at the presidential office in Juba, on October 19, 2019./AFP/Getty Images

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.

This comes hours after the United States on Monday imposed sanctions on two South Sudanese officials it accused of fomenting conflict, the U.S. Treasury Department announced on Monday, in its latest move to pressure the country’s politicians to form a unity government.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro and Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Kuol Manyang Juuk were blacklisted for their role in perpetuating the conflict by obstructing the peace process, Treasury said in a statement.