JUBA, South Sudan —South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Wednesday signed a peace deal with rebels, more than 20 months after the start of fighting between the army and rebels led by his former deputy.

Kiir signed the agreement in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, in a ceremony witnessed by regional leaders. Kiir said he was signing the document despite having serious reservations. He signed the same agreement endorsed by rebel leader Riek Machar, said Kiir’s spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny.

Kiir was under intense pressure to sign the compromise accord mediated by a group of neighboring countries, with the U.S. threatening new U.N. sanctions if he failed to do so.

Signing the agreement Wednesday, Kiir said he felt the peace deal had been imposed on him and said it is flawed.

The agreement binds Kiir into a power-sharing arrangement with Machar, a political rival whose dismissal in July 2013 sparked a political crisis that later boiled over into a violent rebellion. The fighting has often been along ethnic lines, pitting Kiir’s ethnic Dinka people against Machar’s Nuer.

The accord calls for the establishment of a coalition government within 90 days. Previous cease-fires have been quickly broken, however, with both sides accusing the other for truce violations. It also calls for a demilitarized Juba, one of the key sticking points for Kiir’s side during negotiations, and also delays national elections until 2018 at the earliest.

The civil war and peace efforts have been closely watched by an estimated 3,500 Sudanese immigrants living in Portland, Maine. Ninety percent of Portland’s Sudanese immigrants are from South Sudan and escaped the civil war there, and the community held a giant celebration when South Sudan gained independence in 2011.

Tom Andrews, a former U.S. congressman from Maine’s 1st District, is president of a Washington-based advocacy group called United to End Genocide. Andrews issued a statement Tuesday welcoming the news, but warning that international attention must be maintained.

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