South Sudanese Government and Rebel Factions Forge ‘Commitment’ for Peace Amid Ongoing Talks in Kenya

South Sudanese Government and Rebel
AP Photo/Brian Inganga

South Sudanese Government and Rebel :  During high-level mediation discussions in Kenya, the South Sudanese government and rebel opposition groups inked a critical “commitment declaration”—a major step towards peace. This historic deal signifies a turning point in the continuing endeavors to end the long-running war in South Sudan, a struggle that has severely impacted the country’s economy.

 The ceremonial signing ceremony, while not disclosing the specifics of the deal, was a solemn affair, underscoring the gravity of the event. The presence of diplomats and members from civil society groups added weight to the occasion. Notably, the rebel opposition groups, key players in these discussions, were not signatories to the 2018 deal that ended South Sudan’s five-year civil war—a tragedy that claimed 400,000 lives and displaced millions—but which had already begun.

 The commitment declaration, hailed by Kenya’s foreign office as a momentous ‘first milestone’ in the ongoing dialogue, holds the potential to break the cycle of violence and animosity that has ravaged the region. The talks, known as Tumaini, meaning ‘hope’ in Swahili, serve as a potent symbol of the aspirations tied to this endeavor. The leadership of ex-Kenyan army commander Lazarus Sumbeiywo in these critical discussions further underscores the gravity and commitment invested in finding a lasting solution.

 President Salva Kiir of South Sudan thanked President William Ruto of Kenya for hosting the negotiations and emphasized the significance of joint efforts to promote regional security and peace. Nevertheless, South Sudan is still caught in a precarious political situation, with elections scheduled for December. The country’s history of broken promises from the 2018 peace deal and frequent outbreaks of violence caused by ethnic and political divisions are just some of the challenges that hinder the path to lasting peace. 

 To navigate the complexities of peacebuilding and reconciliation successfully, it is of utmost importance that all parties involved take swift and synchronized action. The mediation talks offer a glimmer of hope in the uncertain landscape that South Sudan must traverse to realize its dreams of a more tranquil and prosperous future. However, numerous obstacles still stand in the way of the people of South Sudan achieving lasting peace and prosperity, and surmounting them will necessitate unwavering determination and a united front.


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