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South Sudan on Wednesday last week celebrated a new peace accord. The deal is meant to end a civil war that began in 2013 between forces loyal to president Salva Kiir, and the rebel groups. Riek Marchar, the leader of the country’s biggest coalition of rebel fighters, returned to the country’s capital Juba for the first time since 2016.

He fled the country 2yrs ago when an earlier peace deal collapsed. He has however returned to the country on a power-sharing deal, following a September 12 agreement signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The agreement was backed by the regional bloc and other international stakeholders.

The terms of the agreement states that, Machar is to be reinstated as Vice President. The two rivals joined regional leaders at the ceremony to publicly welcome the most recent peace agreement. The different leaders who attended the ceremony were, Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir, Ethiopia’s newly appointed president Shale-Work Zewde, Somalia’s head of state Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

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Machar told the thousands of people who gathered at the ceremony, “We Need Peace” and peace is in the hearts of all members of the opposition. The South Sudan president Salva Kiir during the ceremony also announced that Machar’s return marked the end of civil war, he also apologized for the 5yrs of brutal fighting and said the responsibility falls on his shoulders.

South Sudan, known as the worlds youngest nation celebrated independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war fueled by oil, ethnicity and religion. 2 years later, the country plunged into civil war after Mr Kiir sacked Vice President Riek Machar.

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The five years of fighting in the country has crippled the country, displaced millions and killing almost 400. 000 people from violence and disease according to a recent report.

Citizens still remain however skeptical over the recent peace deal and say they will feel peace when they can have 3 meals a day, when they can afford basic needs, when they can put their children to school, amongst others.

Image source: New York Times