South Sudan's president and rebel chief signed a ceasefire deal Friday vowing to end nearly five months of civil war, under international pressure to stem bloodshed and avert famine and genocide.
President Salva Kiir and rebel boss Riek Machar, who were congratulated for inking the deal, first shook hands and then prayed together.
The two sides handed over the Cessation of Hostilities treaty. PHOTO/AFP
The two sides signed to:
Recognize that there is no military solution to the crisis in South Sudan, and that a sustainable peace can be achieved only through inclusive political dialogue;
Understand the need to take bold decisions, in the interest of national reconciliation, that can guide the country to a new political dispensation and a permanent constitutional order;
Agree to immediately cease all hostile activities with twenty for(24) hours of the signing of this agreement, thus re-dedicating ourselves to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 23 January 2014; and further agree to facilitate the full deployment of IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism(MVM).
Commit to disengage and separate forces and refrain from any provocative action or combat movement until a permanent cease fire is agreed and signed;
Agree to issue orders to all their respective commands and units, on signing of the agreement, instructing full and immediate cessation of hostilities, cooperation with the IGAD MVM, and facilitation of humanitarian access; and the receipt of orders at command level shall be verified by the IGAD MVM in a week after signing this agreement;
Agree to open humanitarian corridors, in accordance with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 23 January 2014, and the 5 May 2014 “Recommitment on Humanitarian Matters in the CoH Agreement”; and to cooperate, unconditionally, with the UN and humanitarian agencies to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches affected populations in all areas of South Sudan.
Resolve to engage in substantive discussions, via the IGAD-led peace process, on the Agenda as constituted by the mediation process;
Agree that a transitional government of national unity will offer the best chance for the people of South Sudan to take the country forward; and that such a government shall oversee government functions during a transitional period, implement critical reforms as negotiated through the peace process, oversee a permanent constitutional process, and guide the country to new elections; and thus direct our respective representatives to the IGAD- led peace process to negotiate the terms of a transitional government of national unity;
Agree to ensure the inclusion of all South Sudanese stakeholders in the peace process, and the negotiation of a transitional government of national unity, in order to ensure broad ownership of the agreed outcomes; stakeholders include: the two direct negotiators (the GRSS and the SPLM/A in Opposition), and others such as the SPLM leaders (former detainees), political parties, civil society, and faith-based leaders.
Agree that these other stakeholders shall participate in negotiations on transitional governance, the permanent constitution, and any other items that concern the political future of the country and reconciliation of South Sudanese communities.
Agree to fully cooperate with the AU Commission of inquiry and facilitate implementation of its forthcoming recommendations;
Agree to meet again, within one month, under IGAD auspices, to facilitate continued progress on the aforementioned issues and resolution of the crisis.
Warring South Sudan rivals sign peace deal