South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (right) and opposition leader Riek Machar sign a preliminary peace agreement on 5 August 2018 (Picture: PA).
A tentative power-sharing deal has been signed in South Sudan after five years of civil war.
President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar agreed that Machar would once again become the country’s Vice President.
A number of preparatory peace agreements had already been signed by the two factions but now both sides believe this one is the “final final” deal.
A Government spokesman told the Press Association the President and his new deputy had a friendly chat after they signed the historic accord:
"The president was interacting very well with Riek Machar... he was talking to him in a very friendly way."
International observers, however, remain sceptical. A peace agreement in 2015 saw Machar triumphantly return to the South Sudanese capital of Juba, a job in a government of national unity his for the taking.
The new government lasted mere months after clashes between rebels and state forces left thousands of people dead.
A joint statement on behalf of Britain, Norway and the United States admitted:
"We remain concerned about the parties' level of commitment to this agreement and to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement."
400 British soldiers are based in South Sudan, helping the UN Mission with medical and engineering support.
In April 2017, it was announced that the British deployment of Royal Engineers to South Sudan was going to be extended by another year.