South Sudan rivals agree on 6-month extension in peace deal

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan’s once-warring parties have agreed to delay key next steps in a fragile peace deal by six months after the main opposition warned it might walk away.

Friday’s agreement came after talks in Ethiopia. The chairman of a smaller opposition party that attended, Denay Chagor, confirmed the details.

The extension needs approval next week by a council of regional foreign ministers. Several attendees on Friday told The Associated Press they expect it to pass.

The government and main opposition were not immediately available for comment.

A May 12 deadline has loomed for opposition leader Riek Machar to return and again become President Salva Kiir’s deputy in a power-sharing arrangement. But Machar’s supporters say security arrangements are insufficient.

The peace deal ended a five-year civil war that killed nearly 400,000.

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