South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir signed a peace agreement with rebel factions in the Ethiopian capital on Wednesday to end a civil war that has killed at least 50,000 people, displaced two million and held up the country’s progress since it gained independence seven years ago.
South Sudan plunged into warfare two years after independence from Sudan in 2011 when a political dispute between Kiir and then vice-president Riek Machar erupted into armed confrontation. A previous peace deal signed in 2015 fell apart a year later after clashes broke out between government forces and rebels.
Machar, leader of the main rebel group, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition, and other insurgent factions signed the new agreement with the Juba government after assurances that a power-sharing accord would be honored. The deal, mediated by Sudan, reinstates Machar to his former role as vice-president.