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CEASEFIRE Mixed reactions from the public

Murion James Juma (photo by Kitab)

By Kitab A Unango

Citizens have expressed mixed reactions towards the Permanent Ceasefire signed on Wednesday in Khartoum by parties to the South Sudan conflict.

On Wednesday President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar signed a Permanent Ceasefire deal to end all forms of hostilities in the country. The deal that would pave way for lasting peace in the country would be effective from tomorrow after the 72 hours’ time-line of the schedule.

Some citizens who spoke to Juba Monitor yesterday said they were not sure the Permanent Ceasefire on the resolution of conflict in the country would materialize given that it was not the first time for warring parties to sign such agreement and later violate the same.

Nurion James Juma, a 19 year old student said he appreciated the initiative because that was going to bring peace and development to the country adding that commitment would make the agreement effective.

“I am very happy that our government wants peace to come to our country. It is a positive move so that people live in peace, get jobs and develop the South Sudan,” Nution said.

A boda-boda rider who only preferred to be identified as Marko said he was not optimistic that the parties would respect the agreement because that was not the first time.

“I am not sure they will stick to the agreement and implement it. They signed several cessation of hostilities agreements but they violated them,” Marko said. “If they implement it, it will be good for the people of South Sudan,” he added.

Another Juba resident Mama Lisa said peace is not what is signed on paper but what comes from the heart.

“Peace comes from the heart, not on the paper. I think what was signed really came from their hearts and they will abide by it to bring to an end the suffering of civil people of South Sudanese,” Mama Lisa said.

She added that with the general insecurity in the country, people feared coming out at night to ease themselves.

“They can agree that no gunshots again in South Sudan but people are being killed every night. We cannot come out at night to ease ourselves due to fear that we will be shot or cut by machete,” she added.

Another man who spoke on condition of anonymity pointed out that he was very happy with the signing of the agreement because peace was eminent.

“I am very happy to hear that Kiir and Machar agreed to stop fighting. That means, peace is soon coming to our country. We have suffered enough and we are going to start going to our villages”, he said happily.

In his part Jame James Kolok, the executive director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG) said abiding by the permanent ceasefire agreement was crucial.

Speaking to Juba monitor on phone yesterday Kolok welcomed the deal adding that the agreement would speed up the peace process to bring lasting peace to the people of South Sudan but urged parties to respect the pact.

“We always believe that the South Sudan peace process will move faster if the two leaders are brought together. By bringing together President Kiir and opposition leader Machar signifies and confirms why we always say the peace process must be inclusive. In the next 72 hours we civil society expects that there must be thorough commitment and respect to the agreement”, Kolok quipped.

He added that the responsibility relies on the South Sudanese to respect the agreement on cessation of hostility not on foreign bodies.

“The responsibility of observing the ceasefire rests on the parties rather than relying on mechanisms that are coming from outside,” Kolok stated.

He added that security was to be provided not only to the oil field but to all population of the country adding that South Sudanese should take the lead in protecting their oil.

“When we talk of security to the oil sector we should also consider the security of all people whereby they are able to advance in agriculture. We should also ensure that South Sudanese play a primarily role of their oil rather than people from outside coming to protect it for them,” Kolok pointed out.

 

 

 

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