South Sudan peace deal offers glimmer of hope

24 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Martin Plaut

There is the first flicker of hope that peace may be restored to South Sudan: it began with an acceptance of responsibility. Three factions of the South Sudanese ruling party, meeting in the Tanzanian city of Arusha, on Monday accepted that they are jointly responsible for the war that has devastated their new nation over the past 10 months.

“The parties acknowledge a collective responsibility for the crisis in South Sudan that has taken a great toll on the lives and property of our people,” says the text of a deal signed on behalf of President Salva Kiir and his sacked former deputy, Riek Machar.

The two factions, which have been at daggers drawn since the conflict erupted in December 2013, were joined by a third group. These are senior leaders of the ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), imprisoned by the president for months after the fighting began, but not allied to Machar.

Together these factions make up the majority of the movement that fought for the best part of five decades to win independence from Sudan in July 2011. Faultlines, long evident within the SPLM, are now openly acknowledged. So too is their impact on the country.

“A divided SPLM will automatically fragment the country along ethnic and regional faultlines,” the Arusha document says, calling for “genuine and honest dialogue that puts the interest of the people and the nation above all”.

Read the full article on The Guardian

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