President Farmaajo witnesses signing of peace pact by warring South Sudan sides

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The warring sides in the South Sudan conflict on Wednesday signed a peace agreement witnessed by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.

The new peace deal immediately ends any further bloodshed and all forms of hostility between the infighting groups.

The civil war had killed at least 50,000 people, displaced two million and held up the country’s progress since it gained independence seven years ago.

Riek Machar, leader of the main rebel group the SPLM-IO, and other insurgent factions signed the new agreement with the Juba government led by President Salva Kiir after assurances that a power-sharing accord would be honored.

The deal, mediated by Sudan, reinstates Machar to his former role as vice-president.

In a statement, the Federal Government of Somalia welcomed the signing of the peace pact between South Sudanese sides.

President Farmajo pledged that Somalia will work closely with all partners in the pursuit of lasting peace, stability and development in the region.

“We are hopeful that this ends the conflict permanently. Building a lasting peace in South Sudan is a key priority for regional stability and economic development,” President Farmajo said.

The signing ceremony took place at the end of IGAD leaders meeting who endorsed with the approval of President Kiir some amendments to address the concern of the South Sudanese opposition parties.

The negotiations leading to this morning’s signing ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia were held under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad ) whose rappoteur is Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed who also chairperson of the region-body.

IGAD groups eight countries that include Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia,, Uganda, Djibouti and the two twin states of Sudan and South Sudan.

The crisis in South Sudan started over a year on December 15, 2013 when former Vice President Dr Riek Machar left the government in a huff when President Salva Kiir accused him of plotting a coup to seize power

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