JUBA- Businesses are shut in South Sudan’s capital city Juba as people celebrate the signing of a power-sharing deal aimed at ending a brutal five-year civil war.
The peace and power sharing agreement that was signed on Sunday August 5 between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Dr Riek Machar was amongst other delegates witnessed by President Yoweri Museveni in Juba.
Mr Museveni together with regional leaders and hundreds of other dignitaries gathered at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum to witness the signing of the security and governance agreement among South Sudan rival parties.
Don Wanyama, the presidential press secretary said tweeted that president Museveni and Sudan President Omar al-Bashir are the guarantors of the peace agreement.
According to Wanyama, Museveni asked both parties to implement what was agreed on in the deal key among others to avoid using ceasefire to re-arm for war, shun politics of opportunism, work for population’s interests, and use fair elections to arbitrate political argument.
Sudan president Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crime against humanity and war crimes, also witnessed and guaranteed, the peace agreement.
The move amongst other things intends to get the rebel leader Riek Machar returned to government as one of five vice-presidents as agreed in Uganda last month.
President Salva Kiir promised peace in the country following the signed agreement.
“I call on everyone as a leader of South Sudan that this agreement which we have signed today should be the end of the war and the conflict in our country,” said President Salva Kiir.
Former vice president Machar said after the signing, “Today we celebrate, not just in South Sudan, but throughout the world.”
He added that “there is no option but peace … we have to focus after this stage on implementing the agreement that if we don’t implement, we will all be failures.”
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict which broke out about two years after South Sudan’s independence.
Previous peace agreements held for only a matter of months before fighting resumed, which Kiir has blamed on foreign influence.
“My government and I know the conflict in South Sudan has resulted in a financial and political burden,” Kiir said.
“We must accept that the internal war has no meaning and has imposed suffering on us and our families and has killed hundreds of our young men and women, destroyed our economy, and left us divided.”
The series of discussions that led to signing of the peace agreement, started in May this year in capital Addis Ababa and were called by the Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD) leaders, the seven-member regional bloc that has been facilitating the South Sudan peace talks since fighting first broke out in December 2013.
President Museveni recently said that he was hopeful for positive results.