South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, this week reluctantly appended his signature to a peace accord that is poised to end nearly two years of civil war.
Kiir’s hand was literally forced by the international community to return sanity to the world youngest state, but it is a risky undertaking, judging from the mumblings from the presidential camp.
Nation building is not a walk in the park; it needs pure commitment by all stakeholders. Sacrifices will have to be made by both sides of the conflict in the name of reconciliation.
Scores of South Sudan government officials have been to Rwanda – ever since their independence – to learn a thing of two on how to overcome social and political strife.
They must have witnessed that the secret behind Rwanda was seeking tailor made, home-grown solutions. It would be a surprise if the warring factions in S. Sudan did not have their own age-old traditional mechanisms to resolve conflicts.
That could be their only salvation. The stakes in the country are very high, especially with the oil that seems to have been a curse instead of a boon.
So, as long as the officials in Juba or rebel held territories fail to find a common ground – devoid of foreign interference however well intentioned – the truce will not last, not even in the face of threats of international sanctions.
Sometimes it is wise to swallow someone’s pride and lick the wounds all in defence of a nation’s broader interests. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is a necessity.