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South Sudan swears in new parliament vowed under peace deal

South Sudan on Monday swore in hundreds of lawmakers to a newly created national parliament, a long overdue condition of a fragile peace deal that ended civil war in the young country. In all, 588 MPs --a mix of delegates from the ruling party and former rebel factions who signed the truce - took the oath of office at a ceremony in Juba presided over by the chief justice. The creation of an inclusive national assembly was a key condition of the 2018 ceasefire that paused five years of bloodshed between government and rebel forces that left nearly 400,000 people dead. Like several other urgent and crucial provisions of the peace accords, the convening of parliament went long unfulfilled, eroding trust between the political rivals that unified in a tenuous coalition after the war. It comes nearly a year behind schedule and remains incomplete, with 62 MPs absent from the swearing-in ceremony, some because of squabbles with the government over the power-sharing arrangement. President Salva Kiir did not attend the event.

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