By The Associated Press

South Sudan’s government has allocated $40 million to speed up the integration of its soldiers with armed opposition fighters to create a unified national army as the country emerges from a five-year civil war. 

This comes amid face-to-face talks between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar in the capital, Juba. Their talks continue Dec. 14 on another key part of a peace deal that is yet to be resolved, the number of states.

In this Sunday Jan. 12, 2014 file photo, a South Sudanese government soldier chants in celebration after government forces on Friday retook from rebel forces the provincial capital of Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan. A new report made public in Nov. 2019 says South Sudan’s National Security Service has recruited a force of 10,000 fighters in President Salva Kiir’s ethnic stronghold, in apparent breach of the terms of the country’s peace deal. (AP Photo/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin, File)

South Sudan’s government had pledged $100 million to help fund the peace process, and the $40 million is part of that. 

The international community has been pressing the rival sides to form a coalition government as a crucial part of the peace deal signed last year. A November deadline to form that government was extended to February. 

The civil war killed close to 400,000 people.