Kiir and Machar’s factions will have three months to form a transitional government which will then hold power for three years.
PIC: South Sudan leaders, President, Salva Kiir and his arch rival, Riek Machar shake hands while Uganda's President, Yoweri Museveni looks on at one of the events. (File photo)
KAMPALA - Uganda has asked the leaders of South Sudan to abide by the terms of the latest peace deal in order to restore the country’s economy and guarantee stability in the region.
South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir and his arch rival, Riek Machar signed a final power-sharing deal on Sunday raising hope of an end to a civil war that has torn the country and claimed thousands of people.
President Yoweri Museveni, who has been involved in talks to bring the warring parties to resolve the conflict, was one of the many leaders who witnessed the signing of the latest peace deal.
The state minister for foreign affairs, Henry Okellooryem said Uganda was anxious to see a permanent end to the conflict through implementation of the terms of Sunday’s peace agreement.
“We have agreed to be guarantors of that agreement but we should not be taken for granted because we are friends of SalvaKiir,” Oryem told New Vision in an interview.
“It is in our national interest that there is peace and that the parties implement the peace agreement not only in word but also in deed, so that we can start trading and young people looking for opportunities can cross the border.”
The deal, which paves the way to a final peace accord aimed at ending the war in the world's youngest country, was signed in the presence of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his counterparts from Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti, along with foreign diplomats.
Kiir and Machar’s factions will have three months to form a transitional government which will then hold power for three years, according to the terms of the agreement.
Uganda is home to more than one million refugees from South Sudan who have crossed into the country since violence broke out in the restive world’s youngest nation four years ago.
Refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan are accommodated at multiple resettlement centres in the West Nile sub-region, namely: Bidibidi, Adjumani, Rhino, Imvepi, Omugo, Palo and Lamwo.
Fighting broke out in December 2013 when forces, loyal to President, SalvarKiir and his former deputy, RiekMachar clashed, sparking unrest.
An estimated three million South Sudanese have reportedly fled the country while thousands more have lost their lives, plunging the country into chaos and economic ruin.
In the past, attempts to reconcile Kiir and Macharyielded little benefit as ceasefire pacts have been repeatedly violated by forces of two factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
The fighting in South Sudan plunged has affected hundreds of Ugandan traders who have counted losses worth billions as the once lucrative market started to falter.