Four years after the signing of a peace agreement to end the conflict in South Sudan, numerous blockages and weeks of tension raised fears of the resumption of hostilities.
However, the peace process seems to have taken a step forward, President Salva Kiir and his former rival, Vice-President Riek Machar, signed a key military agreement on April 3, 2022, as part of the 2018 peace agreement, over which negotiations were stalled for weeks.
Meanwhile, One of the key points of the peace agreement was the security arrangements, which should have been implemented more than two years ago. The creation of a unified army is at the heart of the peace deal, but it has also been a source of disagreement. Salva Kiir and Riek Machar could not agree on the composition of the command structure of the unified armed forces.
The provision signed on April 3, provides that 60% of the command posts go to Salva Kiir’s camp and 40% to the opposition. Appointments must take place in less than a week. “It’s a compromise in the name of peace,” says Puok Both Baluang, a spokesperson for Riek Machar. The latter wanted the opposition to occupy 50% of the command posts.
The signed agreement further provides that, following the formation of the new command structure, the unified armed forces must graduate within two months. It also calls on the signatories to respect the ceasefire and provides for regular meetings between the parties to “build trust”.