Sudan expects South Sudanese power sharing deal to be signed Thursday

Sudan expects South Sudanese power sharing deal to be signed Thursday

Strengthened by the support of regional rival, Egypt, Sudan still expects all parties to the South Sudan civil war to

South sudan power sharing deal

Photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP

Strengthened by the support of regional rival, Egypt, Sudan still expects all parties to the South Sudan civil war to sign a power-sharing agreement in Khartoum today. This is despite the major parties objecting to the draft document,.

The deal is anticipated to establish five vice-presidents representing the major combatants, including President Salva Kiir and main rebel leader Riek Machar. However, Kiir has already delayed a previously scheduled July 19 signing. Furthermore, Machar’s and other rebel groups’ objections to the draft this week leave today’s scheduled signing uncertain.

The major reason the negotiations have got this far is due to the sponsorship of Sudanese leader Omar Al-Bashir. He has managed to draw all warring parties together but also obtain the crucial support of Egypt and IGAD—an East African bloc including Ethiopia and Kenya.

Sudan and Ethiopia have suspicions Cairo is fermenting South Sudan opposition to the Sudan-supported Renaissance Dam project in Ethiopia—a charge Egypt denies. Support for the South Sudan peace process serves to reconcile Egypt’s year-long tension with Khartoum but also brings much-needed stability to an important future ally in the deadlocked Nile dam negotiations. Expect Khartoum to exert maximum diplomatic pressure on parties to sign today but do not discount a further delay, which risks unravelling the deal altogether.

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