South Sudan Has Reached a Breakthrough Peace Deal
The signing of the peace deal is considered a major step towards ending the five-year civil war—will it last this time around?
Citizens have taken to the streets of South Sudan to celebrate what is being called a "breakthrough" peace deal aimed at putting an end to the country's five-year civil war.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir signed a power-sharing deal with rebel leader Riek Machar in Khartoum, Sudan, legitimizing him by making Machar one of the country's five vice presidents.
Since the conflict began in a newly-succeeded South Sudan in 2013, millions of people have been displaced and tens of thousands have lost their lives, reports BBC Africa. The peace deal is being seen as a major step forward, as many previous attempts at peace have been unsuccessful.
The ruling party has named today an unofficial holiday and businesses in the capital are closed.
It's worth noting, that a similar peace deal was signed in 2015, but it failed the following year with Machar fleeing the country on foot. According to analysts at the BBC, this time around, the motivations for renewed peace are different. Stakeholders on both sides of the conflict see the potential benefits of reconciliation, as both sides are running out of money to support their agendas. There are also hopes, that the expressions of hope from citizens, will hold leaders accountable and deter them from breaking their agreement.
The South Sudanese people are expressing faith in their country despite past turmoil, by publicly celebrating the deal. There is an air of hope, that this peace deal will bring about real change in the world's youngest nation.