South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar sworn in as vice president in bid to end war that has killed over 40,000 people

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. We invite you to donate to our fundraiser to help us keep our quality news free and available to all.  

South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar was sworn in as vice president on Saturday in a decisive bid to end a war that has killed over 40,000 people in the world’s newest country.

In 2011, South Sudan became the world’s newest country after seceding from Sudan, its neighbor to the north. However, just two years later in 2013, the rivalry between President Salva Kiir and Vice President Machar exploded into the open. The violence quickly spiraled out of control and snowballed into a full blown war.

Since then, attempts to unite the country and end the war have been slow, with each party giving some pre-conditions before a final agreement could be signed.

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

Many actors, including Nigerian pastor TB Joshua have traveled to South Sudan to seek peace.

Kiir and TB Joshua
Kiir and TB Joshua

The latest agreement to form a ‘unity government’ between the two factions led by president Salva Kiir and Machar comes after two previous failed attempts led to even more conflicts and deaths.

The United States and other nations have been mounting pressure to end the war and reach a peace agreement after several deadlines were missed last year.

It was only in the past week that key concessions were made, clearing the way for a deal.

“This action signifies the official end of the war and we can now declare a new dawn in South Sudan,” Kiir was quoted as saying at the ceremony on Saturday. “Peace has come to stay, not to be shaken ever again in this nation.”

The Washington Post noted that “almost as many people have died in South Sudan’s civil war as in Syria’s, and in less time”, adding that the “conflict has plunged parts of the country into famine, and driven more than 2.2 million people into neighboring countries, left 1.4 million without homes with South Sudan, and 190,000 living under direct U.N. protection”.

“This agreement marks a turning point in our history,” said South Sudan’s foreign minister, Awut Deng Acuil, in a telephone interview, according to The Post. “The suffering of our people is going to end. We will facilitate the return of people from neighboring countries.”

There were many disagreements before the peace accord was agreed to. For instance, Machar insisted that the number of states be reduced from 32 to 10, saying that the current arrangement was designed to favor the Dinka ethnic group of president Kiir, while Mr. Kiir also insisted that Machar not be allowed to bring in his own personal security forces into the capial Juba.

His fear was that bringing rebels to the capital may lead to a repeaylt of violence that rocked the city in July 2016 following the failure of the last peace agreement.

“This was the only foreseeable path forward. It is a momentous day,” The Washington Post quoted Alan Boswell, an analyst focusing on South Sudan at the International Crisis Group as saying.

The newspaper said Boswell was in Juba for the ceremony Saturday and recently returned from areas where Kiir and Machar’s security forces were attempting to integrate into one unified army.

“In other ways, though, it is a crawling step forward and doesn’t drastically change the situation in the country,” he added. “South Sudan isn’t going to emerge from being a failed state overnight. It will take the work of generations to put its shattered pieces back together — even to get it back to where it was at independence.”

[/read_more]

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

Joe Biden stands with peaceful protesters in Nigeria, urges U.S. to do same

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday said the United States "must stand with" peaceful protesters in Nigeria who are demanding...

Buhari to finally address Nigerians as country slips into chaos

President Muhammadu Buhari will make a national broadcast Thursday, October 22, 2020, at 7p.m., the Nigerian presidency said in a statement...

Nigerians in USA to hold ‘mother of all protests’ against police brutality and bad governance in their home country

Nigerians in the United States would hold the 'mother of all protests' on Saturday against police brutality and bad governance in...

U.S. condemns killing of peaceful protesters in Nigeria

The United States on Thursday strongly condemned "the use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrators in...

Egypt executes 49 people in 10 days

Egyptian authorities executed 15 men convicted for alleged involvement in three cases of political violence as well as two women and 25...

MOST POPULAR

Damning report finds detainees in Iran were sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown

Iran’s police, intelligence and security forces, and prison officials have committed, with the complicity of judges and prosecutors, a catalogue of...

Africa shocked U.S. under Trump has worst coronavirus response in the world

President Donald Trump has "failed in his basic duty to protect Americans", world's renowned journalist Bob Woodward told Fox News Sunday...

EXCLUSIVE: IMF economist details how COVID-19 economic turmoil in Asia will affect Sub-Saharan Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic is battering economies in Asia with a contraction expected for the first time in many decades. The economic...

Ghana to reopen international air borders from September 1

Ghana will reopen its international air borders on September 1, six months after closing them in March to curb the spread...

Ethiopia charges prominent opposition figure Jawar Mohammed with terrorism

As human rights organizations continue to warn that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is turning Ethiopia into a dictatorship, his administration on...

Joe Biden stands with peaceful protesters in Nigeria, urges U.S. to do same

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday said the United States "must stand with" peaceful protesters in Nigeria who are demanding police reforms and good governance.Biden was reacting to reports security forces in Nigeria opened fire on protesters killing several of them.“I urge President Buhari and the Nigerian military to cease the...

[/read_more]

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

Share
Tweet
WhatsApp
Reddit
Share