NewsEast & Horn AfricaSouth Sudan’s president, rebel leader sign peace deal


Posted on Thursday, 13 September 2018 09:56

South Sudan’s president, rebel leader sign peace deal

By Reuters

South Sudanese people hold signs as they await the arrival back in the country of South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, at the airport in Juba, South Sudan Friday, June 22, 2018. Photos: Bullen Chol/AP/SIPASouth Sudan's President Salva Kiir signed a peace agreement with rebel factions in the Ethiopian capital on Wednesday (September 12) to end a civil war that has killed at least 50,000 people, displaced two million and held up the country's progress since it gained independence seven years ago.

South Sudan plunged into warfare two years after independence from Sudan in 2011 when a political dispute between Kiir and then vice-president Riek Machar erupted into armed confrontation.

A previous peace deal signed in 2015 fell apart a year later after clashes broke out between government forces and rebels.

Machar, leader of the main rebel group the SPLM-IO, and other insurgent factions signed the new agreement with the Juba government after assurances that a power-sharing accord would be honoured. The deal, mediated by Sudan, reinstates Machar to his former role as vice-president.

Fuelled by personal and ethnic rivalries

The United States, Britain and Norway, known as the Troika which back peace efforts, welcomed the signing of the deal.

The United Kingdom special representative for Sudan and South Sudan, Chris Trott, said: "(I) hope that the discussions will remain open to those who are not yet convinced of the sustainability of this agreement. We remain concerned about the parties' level of commitment to this agreement and to the cessation of hostilities agreement signed in Addis Ababa in December. In Wau for example, military offensive has been undertaken since the signing of the most recent ceasefire. "

The civil war started in 2013, fuelled by personal and ethnic rivalries. The conflict has killed at least 50,000 people, many of them civilians, according to the United Nations.

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