South Sudan: Government, rebel group sign peace pact

General Marshal Stephen Babanen (SPLA) and Brig. General Hillary Edson Yakani (SPLA / IO) sign an agreement in Kampala including a ceasefire in Yei River State on 4 June 2017.

A faction of South Sudan rebels based in Yei River State in the southern part of the country have signed a peace agreement with the government ending fierce fighting that has displaced thousands of people.

Brig. Gen. Hillary Edson Yakani signed on behalf of the rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Army In Opposition (SPLA IO) while Maj. Gen. Marshal Babanen signed on behalf of government.

The event was attended by the South Sudan Minister of Cabinet Affairs and some generals from both sides.

In the communique issued at the end of the four-day negotiation here in Kampala, the SPLA IO declared a permanent ceasefire effective Monday.

Brig. Gen. Yakani said they will continue to persuade their colleagues still in rebellion to abandon the activity in a bid to rebuild the country.

Maj. Gen. Marshal Babanen told reporters that they expect to implement the agreement within 18 weeks.

He said rebels in other states in South Sudan have express willingness to abandon rebellion.

Fighting broke out in South Sudan in December 2013 after troops loyal to President Salva Kiir fought with those of his vice president then Riek Machar.

The fighting has forced hundreds thousands of people to flee the country.

Regional efforts to end the fighting have not yielded the required results yet.

 

Zainab Sa’id