It was all ululation and jubilation in Juba as South Sudanese nationals welcomed the signing of the revitalized power-sharing pact by warring parties Sunday night, saying the deal will end the more than four years’ strife in the country.
President Salva Kiir and opposition leader and arch-rival, Riek Machar, signed a revitalized agreement to end the civil strife that would see the latter reinstated as first vice president after serving a two-year house arrest in South Africa.
The agreement was signed collectively by the two leaders, as well as all political parties in South Sudan, signaling their desire to end the conflict that has caused a lot of suffering and displacement of people.
The agreement outlines guidelines on power sharing and governance, including settling boundary disputes which will be guided by a Boundary Commission and provides an avenue for the people of South Sudan to participate in a referendum if need be to settle those disputes.
Kiir pledged to incorporate warring factions into the government after he met with Machar and an alliance of opposition leaders.
“This time, all opposition forces will be gathered in one place. They will be trained and later reintegrated into the national army. They will be trained well so that they become good soldiers,” said the president.Many still displaced
South Sudanese in the capital are celebrating the signing of the peace deal, but many are still suffering from the impact of the war.
Millions of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge in neighboring countries as the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players to end it.
“We are just left alone. Our parents went to another country. They left us here, we are suffering, no proper teaching, but the teachers went to another country, we are here suffering. So we need peace,” said Kevin Anzoa, a student.Businesses affected by conflict
Many urged politicians not to drag the country back to conflicts, including business owners whose work have suffered significant losses over the past years.
“We’re tired of this war. I hope our politicians would bring peace so that our business can go on well because for the past 3-4 years, the business has not been doing well,” said Anthony Kidega, a local businessman dealing with money transfer.
However, the signing of the final agreement still has brought some respite to the local residents.
“I am really very happy for the day of today. I wish all people will escape the war,” said Batuti Zinoriko, a Juba resident.