South Sudan will need support from African countries

Many in South Sudan have not known anything other than vicious ethnic armed conflicts and yet they too deserve to live in peace and enjoy full lives.
Displaced women carry goods as a Nepalese peacekeeper from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) patrols outside the premises of the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Juba on Oct. 4, 2016. Net.

Another round of talks has just ended with a new truce and a power-sharing agreement between the main protagonists in the South Sudan conflict; President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar.

The new deal gives back Machar his old job and some cabinet positions. A peace deal that hinges on sharing positions among the top brass is not always sufficient.

For the truce to be sustained, it is important that the leaders continually seek solutions to the root causes of the conflicts and turmoil.

Based on other experiences, it just needs one party to feel slighted and the guns will be out blazing again, repeating a vicious cycle.

Many in South Sudan have not known anything other than vicious ethnic armed conflicts and yet they too deserve to live in peace and enjoy full lives.

African countries should closely work with South Sudan as they embark on the journey to create lasting peace.  They will need to be accompanied as they seek reconciliation, after all, one of the African Union targets is to have all guns fall silent by 2020.

Spillover from the South Sudan conflict has had negative impacts in neighbouring countries; from the proliferation of millions of refugees to the ravages of Joseph Kony in Uganda, Sudan, DRC and Central African Republic.

South Sudan being a member of the East African Community needs a more robust response from the region. Maybe this is the right time to test the readiness of the East African Standby Brigade which was created to deal with these sorts of situations. Peace does not come through mere talk but walking it.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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