- The country gained its independence from the Republic of the Sudan in 2011
- The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the Second Sudanese Civil War resulted in South Sudan’s 2011 referendum on independence from Sudan
- The leaders should genuinely be committed to ensure peace returns to the country and re-focus their attention to development
- The agreement spells out that there will be five Vice Presidents in the country. But how will there be harmony among these five vice Presidents?
The signing of the peace agreement on August 6, 2018 has offered a glimpse of hope for a section of the South Sudanese especially those living in the camps after they were uprooted from their homes due to the wars.
But the question remains whether the peace agreement that has been signed in Khartoum by the South Sudan leaders, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, would be upheld. Longest serving African leaders, President Yoweri Museveni and Omar El Bashir, who are not about to quit power, witnessed the signing of the agreement after months of mediation.
As the leaders signed the agreement, millions of South Sudanese are living in camps in Uganda and Kenya as refugees. Life in the camp is difficult. The conflict has caused deaths, permanent injuries and retarded development of the young country, South Sudan.
In fact, most South Sudanese have never had peace since they were born. The peace has been in bits as there has been a continuous conflict that emanates from political disagreements by the leaders. The tribal conflicts, hunger, poverty and diseases add to the instability.
There have been past agreements including that of 2005 that was a turning point that led to creation of South Sudan as a sovereign state. This has also been grossly abused with two wars that followed. The problem has remained on the implementation of the agreements that have been signed.
Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir after signing of the peace agreement as President Museveni witnesses. Photo by Getty Images
We ask the leaders should therefore exercise honesty, love, unity and be accountable to the people. They should desist from abusing the powers they hold, in order to allow the citizens live in peace and harmony for the development of the country.
We ask that there should be mechanisms in place with independent bodies to continuously monitor the implementation of the peace agreements. The power-sharing agreement should address the political differences, which have ideally been a recipe for the past two conflicts.
Already 1.2 million South Sudanese refugees are living difficult lives in the camps. The peace agreement should not only stop with one warring faction, it should also be extended to other rebel groups operating in various parts of the country. And this makes it difficult for implantation because of the various dissenting views and ambitions of taking over leadership.
Government should also address the proliferation of guns that acts as a catalyst for formation of rebel groups by dissatisfied citizens. In a nutshell, we give the peace agreement signed on August 6, a chance to be implemented with honesty as the opposition groups and government forces should cease fire and allow peace return to the country.