May 9, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The South Sudanese government and David Yau Yau’s South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army (SSDM/A) Cobra faction signed a final peace deal on Friday.
- The South Sudan government delegation and their SSDM/A Cobra faction counterparts after sigining a final peace deal in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 9 May 2014 (ST)
The deal, reached in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, ends nearly four years of conflict by the group that rebelled against government in Jonglei state.
Both parties were in Addis Ababa to finalise the drafted agreement, which was initiated by the country’s religious leaders four weeks ago.
Bishop Paride Taban, chief mediator of the Jonglei peace process, urged both parties to respect provisions of the newly signed agreement.
“If we want to have true peace, then we must give it Soul and the Soul of Peace is Love. Love must be something personal and social which moves someone to risk his or her life for the salvation of others,” said Taban.
“It is love that gives life to peace, not victory or defeat. For believers, this comes from the love of God,” he added.
The mediator further stressed that he hoped the new agreement will mark the start of efforts to end the ongoing conflict in the country.
“This present suffering, the killing of our people by their leaders, their own brothers, is painful and shameful, evil and devilish,” he said.
At the forefront of this achievement, he added, should be focus on repentance and all urged all the parties to forgive one another.
“The people of South Sudan should be humble, so that without any condition each one should stretch out a hand to one another, for reconciliation and forgiveness and mercy rather than inflict judgment or point fingers in the eyes of each other,” said the bishop.
“South Sudanese cannot achieve reconciliation and peace in this situation by ourselves. We need other nations and our neighbors’ to pray for us. We need the miracles of God,” he further said.
CALLS FOR PEACE
The bishop urged president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to embrace peace and end the conflict. Both leaders are due to meet for direct talks this Friday.
Clement Janda, the government chief negotiator, said the signing of the peace agreement paves way for peace in the new nation.
“This agreement will enable peace and development in the Greater Pibor areas. There are many partners willing to support the peace agreement we are signing today,” Janda said.
He further said government delegation was committed to peace in good faith for the resolution of the conflict in Greater Pibor areas.
Meanwhile, the head of SSDM/A Cobra delegation, Lt. Gen. Khalid Boutros Bora said his party was committed to peace in the Country.
He also called for the full implementation of the agreement signed, saying it would foster development and unity in Greater Pibor area.
Gen. Khalid called on the international community to support the implementation of the agreement, while urging non-governmental entities to provide humanitarian assistance in Greater Pibor areas.
South Sudan’s ambassador to Ethiopia said the signing of the peace deal marks a turning point for peace for the people of Greater Pibor.
“The signing of the peace deal reflects the commitment of the government of South Sudan to peace,” said Hakim Edward.
Lawrence Korbandy, the deputy head of the government delegation, said the peace deal will lead to security arrangements between the country’s leadership and SSDM/A Cobra faction.
“The general principles that were agreed upon will path way for creation of joint military technical committee,” Korbandy said.
“The agreement will provide for the establishment of Greater Pibor administrative areas, funds for the areas and all these will be in line with the constitution of South Sudan,” he added.
Yau Yau rebelled against South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) after the April 2010 elections when, as an independent candidate, he lost his campaign to represent Gumuruk–Boma constituency in Pibor county at Jonglei state assembly.
In 2011, however, he joined the SPLA, but rebelled again in April 2012. After an increase in violence in Pibor county, the army announced it was suspending the civilian disarmament campaign in the area to focus on nullifying the rebellion.