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IT IS PEACE – Kiir, Machar signs agreement in Khartoum

By Woja Emmanuel Wani

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar have agreed to a permanent ceasefire to take effect within 72 hours, raising expectations of a pact to end the country’s devastating five year conflict.

Kiir and Machar had all signed the document in the presence of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.

In his remarks yesterday rebel leader acknowledged the suffering of the people of south Sudan saying that they will abide by the agreement signed in Khartoum.

Machar said the signed agreement is important not only to the people of south Sudan but to the whole region adding the war should come to end with the signing of the agreement.

“This agreement has a lot of meaning. First this war has to come to an end and secondly this agreement is the start because it will make us work so quickly so that we can agree on the outstanding issues in the bridging proposal,” Machar cited.

Machar added that the suffering of the people whom he said is one third of the country’s population could come back home.

President Kiir said that he is committed to respect the whole document that he had signed and abide by other agreements that will follow.

Kiir said the suffering of the people has touched them all and promised not to let the mediators and the people of South Sudan down this time.

“This is a day our people of South Sudan have been expecting and I am happy that it has finally been achieved. I am committed to respect the whole document that I have signed and I will abide by the whole other agreements that will follow,” Kiir explained yesterday.

Kiir thanked Al-Bashir for helping them sign the agreement and for promising to work with leaders of South Sudan.

The alliance of other political parties also joined in signing the agreement.

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir said that one of the key things which have happened within the two day discussions was the result of the signing of documents.

Al-Bashir appreciated the two leaders for their commitment in the talks which led to the signing of the document.

“The time of these discussions was short but we managed to reach to the signing of documents due to the serious commitment of the two leaders. This agreement signed is to bring total peace and stability for the people of South Sudan in the country,” Al-Bashir said.

Al-Bashir applauded Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), TROIKA, African Union and all other partners who participated in these discussions that reached to the result.

“For the people of South Sudan, I would like to say that” there is peace, we have reached total peace in the country,” Bashir concluded.

The latest push for peace in South Sudan comes as part of a fresh bid launched by East African leaders with the two fighting factions facing a looming deadline to avert UN sanctions.

The permanent ceasefire shall be based on the cessation of hostilities CoH agreement signed on December 21st 2017 in Addis Ababa.

The parties shall agree on all ceasefire arrangements including disintegration, separation of forces in close proximity, withdrawal of allied troops and opening of humanitarian corridors including release of prisoners and all political detainees within the seventy two hours of the declaration of the agreement.

The agreement read that the security arrangements that shall be adopted shall aim at building national army, police and other organs of an inclusive character that shall be free from tribalism and other ethnic affiliation.

The document also indicated that an agreement on the revised bridging proposal shall be concluded as soon as possible before closing the current Khartoum round of talks.

After concluding the agreement on the revised bridging proposal, a pre-transitional period of 120 days shall commence to be followed by the transitional period of 36 months and sharing of power during transitional period shall be in accordance with the formula that shall be agreed in the bridging proposal, the document read.

During the transitional period the country shall be prepared for national elections that shall be conducted as agreed in the revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS). It is therefore agreed that the elections shall be open for all political parties and it shall be free and fair.

Several previous ceasefire agreements have been violated amidst promises between the two leaders to commit themselves to observe.

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