President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is expected to sign a peace deal today, a development that will ostensibly put an end to the raging civil war in the world’s newest country.
Over the past one and a half years troops loyal to Kiir have been battling those of his erstwhile vice president Riek Machar Teng, causing tens of thousands of deaths and displacing over two million people, prompting the intervention of the international community, led by the heads of state and government of the eight-nation bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Other members of the international community like the US, UK and the United Nations also weighed in, with the UN threatening to refer the matter to the Security Council after Kiir refused to append his signature to the pact last Monday, saying he needed more time for consultations.
But today media sources have indicated that Kiir had softened his stance, and that the president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni; Sudan President Omar al Bashir and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, would attend the signing in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
According to the media, the pact compels all the belligerent forces to cease hostilities 72 hours after the signing, meaning the deal is expected to be enforced beginning Friday. All set for