May 10, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government has welcomed the agreement reached between South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and former vice-president turned rebel leader Riek Machar to end the bloody conflict in the newborn state.
- South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir (L) and rebel leader Riek Machar (R) exchange the signed documents after reaching a peace agreement in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 9 May 2014 (AP)
Kiir and Machar signed a deal in Addis Ababa on Friday committing themselves to immediately cease all hostile activities within 24 hours of the signing of the agreement.
Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Abu-Bakr al-Sideeg Mohamed, expressed hope that the deal leads to achieving comprehensive peace in South Sudan, adding that Sudan’s firm position since the conflict erupted was to stop fighting and resolve the conflict through peaceful means.
He said that president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, during his last visit to Juba in January called for the need to stop fighting because it will not resolve the issue.
The spokesperson underscored that achieving peace in South Sudan would contribute to security and stability in the whole region particularly Sudan.
He said that Sudan would be the primary beneficiary of stability and peace in South Sudan as it was the most affected country by the war, affirming Sudan’s support for the agreement and its readiness to offer the necessary help to implement it.
While the two warring parties announced formation of specialized committees to look into mechanisms for implementing the agreement, the United Nations called on them to facilitate delivery of the emergency relief aid to the affected population.
Military officials in the government army and rebel forces were quoted as saying that battle lines looked quiet prior to implementation of the truce.
An official at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that supplies will be sent when they ensure that both sides are committed to the ceasefire agreement.
Ongoing peace negotiations between the two sides have failed to reach a lasting political solution to the nearly five-month-old conflict, which erupted in mid-December last year after political tensions between Kiir and his former deputy turned violent.
Kiir accused Machar, who was sacked last July, of staging a coup to overthrow his government by force – an accusation the latter denies.
Friday’s deal aims to speed up national reconciliation and to bring an immediate end to the conflict, which has killed thousands and displaced more than 1.3 million people.
The fighting has divided the country’s army along ethnic lines, pitting Kiir’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer group.
The UN has accused both rival groups of committing crimes against humanity, including mass killings and gang rapes.