2014-10-22 09:53:00

South Sudan leaders sign new peace agreement in Tanzania

(Vatican Radio) The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir and the leader of the rebels fighting his government, Riek Machar, have had a face to face meeting and signed a new peace agreement on Monday in Tanzania to speed up the peace process. In the document, they also accept mutual responsibility for the civil war in which thousands of people have been killed and over two million others have forced out of their homes.

The talks were mediated by Tanzania’s President, Jakaya Kikwete, who, before the face to face meeting, had held separate talks with each of the two leaders. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, has been mediating the peace talks since January this year, but all the ceasefire agreements signed under its mediation have been broken by the warring factions. IGAD is an eight-country trade bloc in Eastern Africa. Its headquarters is in Djibouti. 

Riek Machar said he wanted this latest agreement to last. President Kiir committed himself to end the fighting, saying there was no reason for the people of South Sudan to continue to suffer after independence. South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011. The current conflict in the country started in December last year as a power struggle between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar spiralled out of control.  It took on ethnic tones and rapidly spread to different parts of the country.

(e-mail: engafrica@vatiradio.va)


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