South Sudan Leaders agree to end conflict

February 2, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Peter Louis

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel commander Riek Machar have signed a deal, committing to end the conflict that has devastated the country over the last fifteen months, killing over 10,000 people.

The ceasefire agreement was signed at talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, but will continue from 20th February to allow for the parties involved to agree on a future government and the associated power sharing arrangements. It is expected however that a final agreement should be reached by 5th March.

Clashes in South Sudan erupted several months following a decision by Mr Kiir in July 2013 to dismiss the entire cabinet and Vice President Machar.

The president had accused Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Machar denied the allegation, but then raised a rebel force to fight government troops.

In addition to the 10,000 people that are estimated to have been killed in the fighting, over one million people have been displaced.

Minutes before Kiir and Machar signed the latest peace deal, Seyoum Mesfin, chief mediator of the East African IGAD bloc, stated that “(The talks) would be final and would lead them into concluding a comprehensive agreement to end the crisis in South Sudan.”

It has widely been reported that at least six previous ceasefire agreements and peace deals had been signed and subsequently broken since fighting broke out in 2013, so hopes are high that a deal can finally now be reached.

 

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Peter Louis

Peter Louis works as a freelance Videographer and Journalist in the Republic of South Sudan. He previously worked for Ebony TV, South Sudan Radio and South Sudan TV, Wau.

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