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South Sudan Rebel Chief Approves Peace Deal With Rival Kiir

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South Sudan Rebel Chief Approves Peace Deal With Rival Kiir

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.

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“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.

READ:  South Sudan Rebels Reject Plan To Reinstate Machar As Vice President

The rebels had differences over the functioning of a proposed transitional government, how many states the country should be divided into and on the writing of a new constitution.

“The concerns of these parties will be discussed at IGAD summit,” Ahmed said.

Earlier this month, Kiir and Machar signed a power-sharing deal that will see the rebel leader return as the first of five vice presidents.

That accord paved the way for drafting of a final peace deal and is expected to lead to the formation of a transitional government to be in power until elections are held.

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South Sudan spiralled into a devastating civil war little over two years after it became independent from Sudan in 2011.

The conflict pitted Kiir against Machar after Kiir accused his former deputy of plotting a coup.

It has seen widespread rape and murder of civilians, often along ethnic lines, and uprooted roughly a third of the population.

A succession of peace deals have been signed between the two leaders only to be broken, most recently in December.

African News

Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

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Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

Zimbabwe government and civil servants have finally agreed to a salary accord after the government increased its offer to four hundred million dollars, up by fifty million.

READ:  UN: More Than 69 Million People Displaced In Africa In 2017

This means government workers and civil servants will each receive an increment of a hundred twenty-nine dollars effective on April the first.

Negotiations for a further salary review, possibly in June, will continue with consideration of other non-monetary incentives.

READ:  South Sudan President Agrees To Meet Rebel Leader Machar For Peace Talks

Apex council chairperson, Cecilia Alexander, says the welfare negotiations will continue until the welfare of civil servants improved.

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African News

Niger’s Top Court Outlaws ‘Fifth Wife’ Sex-Slave Maids

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Niger's Top Court Outlaws 'Fifth Wife' Sex-Slave Maids

Niger’s top court has outlawed the practice of keeping women as maids and sex slaves known as “fifth wives.”  This ends a decade-long legal battle by one victim that lawyers say could inspire others in the West African nation to seek justice.

READ:  UN: More Than 69 Million People Displaced In Africa In 2017

UK-based anti-slavery international, says the “fifth wife” custom, also known as “wahaya,” is when, in addition to the four wives permitted by Islam, rich men take on other, unofficial wives who live as domestic and sexual slaves.

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Thomson-Reuters Foundation says a Nigerien court had initially ruled in favor of the victim’s master, but she appealed the decision.  Last month, the Niger court of appeals ruled that her first marriage was never valid and that all “fifth wife” marriages are illegal.

READ:  South Sudan Rebels Reject Plan To Reinstate Machar As Vice President

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African News

Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

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Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

Gunmen have abducted twenty University of Buea male football team members in Cameroon’s southwest. A report says university Vice-Chancellor, Ngono Horace Manga, has confirmed the incident.

READ:  UN: More Than 69 Million People Displaced In Africa In 2017

The Vice-Chancellor is quoted as saying armed men stormed the university’s football ground and ordered the players who were training for an upcoming competition to leave with them.

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Manga also said the kidnappers contacted university authorities and demanded a ransom.  He did not disclose the amount for which they were asking.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

READ:  South Sudan Rebels Reject Plan To Reinstate Machar As Vice President

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