Salva Kiir to sign peace deal on Wednesday
Tuesday August 25 2015
The warring parties in South Sudan will on Wednesday take the first step towards peace after President Salva Kiir agreed to sign the peace deal in Juba.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) secretariat in Djibouti has written to all partner states inviting them to the signing ceremony in Juba on Wednesday.
The letter reminded the office of the Special Envoys for South Sudan to make arrangements for travelling documents for those government officials who will be attending.
President Kiir had on August 17 declined to sign the peace deal proposed by regional leaders, asking for 15 days for consultations.
READ: Why Kiir did not sign the Addis peace deal
The peace agreement known as the 'Agreement of the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan' was however signed by Dr Riek Machar, former detainees, representatives of religious groups and civil society.
According to the presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek, the Kiir administration still has some reservation about the compromise peace agreement such as the demilitarisation of Juba and the elevation of Dr Machar to the position of first vice-president at the expense of the current holder, James Wani Iga.
President Kiir has been holding series of consultations with members of his Cabinet, State governors, heads of commissions and other heads of institutions as it emerged that the cost of going against the international community would be dire.
READ: US circulates draft resolution for UN sanctions on South Sudan
The deal requires immediate ceasefire within 72 hours and withdrawal of all forces from Juba 25 km radius beginning 30 days of signing except presidential guard, police and guards protective barracks and warehouses. All foreign troops —Ugandan soldiers and the Sudanese rebels from Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan— are also to leave South Sudan within 45 days.
The signing on August 26 will be against a backdrop of fresh fighting in Central Equatoria between the government forces and a militia group allied to Dr Machar and led by Martin Kenyi.
The conflict which broke out in December 2013 following disagreement within the ruling Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), has taken almost 20 months, resulted into the death of over 10,000 people and internally displaced over 1.5 million.