South Sudan: Salva Kiir, Riek Machar Sign Revitalized Peace Agreement
Skepticism as Sudan’s Salva Kiir Signs Peace Deal with Former Rebel Leader
South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his rival Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon have signed the revitalized peace agreement, another step in ending war in the world’s youngest nation.
The agreement was signed during the 33rd Extra Ordinary Session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) Heads of State and Government.
The agreement will now see Riek Machar return as vice president.
Kiir sacked Machar in 2013 for reportedly plotting to topple him.
A war would later break out in December 2013.
Thousands have been killed and others displaced in the Machar-Kiir war.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called on the two principals to commit themselves to ensuring lasting peace.
“The eyes of the world are upon us as the South Sudan leaders commit today to press for reconciliation and lasting peace in their country,” said Abiy Ahmed ahead of the signing ceremony.
The head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, said the deal was not an end in itself.
“With the signing of this revitalised agreement, we should publicly acknowledge it is but one step on the road to peace, but one which lays the foundation for all that follows,” said Shearer on Wednesday.
In a joint statement, the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway, which had a hand in the peace deal, said: “We hope discussions will remain open to those who are not yet convinced of the sustainability of this agreement. We must seize this broader regional momentum to secure peace for the people of South Sudan
“We hope discussions will remain open to those who are not yet convinced of the sustainability of this agreement.”