United Nations, Mar 5 : Positive developments in South Sudan have “moved the country further along the road to sustainable peace”, a top UN official has told Security Council members. The world’s youngest nation has been mired in instability and conflict for nearly all the eight years since it gained independence from Sudan.
In 2018 President Kiir and his former VicePresident and long-time political rival, Mr. Machar, signed a peace accord with the hopes that it would end the crisis and improve the lives and safety of millions of South Sudanese. Last month, Mr. Machar was sworn in as first Vice-President, sealing the peace deal at the State House in the capital of Juba.
“On 15 February, President Salva Kiir – against the wishes of many of his many supporters – agreed to a compromise to return South Sudan to its pre-2015 position of 10 states, although he added three administrative areas”, Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) David Shearer told the Council via VTC. He noted that Mr. Machar had “accepted the challenge to join a transitional government in Juba serving as the country’s First Vice President – despite transitional security arrangements not yet in place”.
With the deadlock broken, five Vice Presidents were subsequently sworn in. Mr. Shearer attributed the progress to “the political willingness of two men who put the interests of their country first”: President Kiir for making “a critical concession”, and Mr Machar for agreeing to return to the capital. (UNI)