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South Sudan president and rebel leader sign peace deal, ending seven-year civil war
© WikiMedia (USAID Africa Bureau)
South Sudan president and rebel leader sign peace deal, ending seven-year civil war

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit [profile] signed a peace deal with rebel groups on Wednesday to bring an end to a seven-year-long civil war in the country which killed at least 50,000 people and made 2 million more homeless.

Mediated by neighboring Sudan, the deal includes power-sharing structures, a reformed banking and military structure, and the inclusion of a rebel leader as Vice President. A similar peace deal [text, PDF] signed in 2015 fell apart [JURIST Report] after rebel groups and government forces began fighting again.

Negotiations have been ongoing for more than a year, and the deal was partially brokered by the US, UK and Norway, which all invest in South Sudan.

While many are optimistic about the deal, there are also skeptics. “Today’s agreement is at its heart simply a crass division of the spoils between the rival factions with the biggest guns,” said [Daily Beast report] John Prendergast, founder of a nonprofit that focuses on South Sudan. “It lacks meaningful checks and balances.”

The deal, signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Abbaba, will take immediate effect.