08 Aug
  • By Aizhana Danabekova

South Sudan’s rival leaders signed a peace-agreement

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and other opposition groups signed a final peace agreement in the latest attempt to end the country’s civil war. “As President of South Sudan, I declare to everyone that the agreement will put an end to the war and conflicts in our country,” the president stated. Earlier, the parties signed a preliminary agreement according to which Riek Machar will be returned from exile to the post of first vice president, and four more vice presidents will also be appointed.

According to Kiir, the present agreement will be crowned with success, as, unlike all previous ones, it was not imposed from the outside. He also called for a dialogue between the UN Security Council to discuss the security situation in the region.

It should be noted that the Conflict in South Sudan began in 2013 since the president dismissed the government and vice-president. As a result, it caused a series of inter-ethnic clashes between the Dinka and the Nuer peoples. In December 2013, the military rebellion of Machar’s supporters grew into a civil war that quickly swept most of the country’s territory.

In August 2015, Kiir and Machar signed a peace agreement and agreed on the establishment of a transitional government of national unity. However, on July 7, 2016, clashes between the parties resumed. According to the UN, during the conflict in South Sudan, more than 10 thousand people were killed, more than 2.2 million people were forced to leave their homes.

South Sudan's First Vice President Riek Machar, left, and President Salva Kiir, right, shake hands following the first meeting of a new transitional coalition government, in the capital Juba, South Sudan Friday, April 29, 2016. The two leaders have formed a transitional coalition government including politicians from the government and the armed opposition who have been at war for the last two and a half years. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)

Aizhana Danabekova holds a BA in International Relations and is currently studying for an MSocSc in Cultural Sociology at University College Dublin. She started her career in journalism in Almaty, Kazakhstan at Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.  She wrote articles about different cultures and led the title “Let’s learn Kazakh”.