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South Sudanese leaders commit to ending the suffering of their people
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South Sudanese leaders commit to ending the suffering of their people

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar – the recently returned, former exiled leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Oppostion (SPLM-IO) – on Wednesday vowed to work together to end the suffering of the South Sudanese people.

The two South Sudanese leaders made their pledge in a big celebration held in the capital Juba on Wednesday. Attendees included Ethiopian President Sahlework Zewde, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, Sudanese President Omer Al Bashir, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the Sudan Tribune reported.

The celebrations followed Machar’s return home on Wednesday following years of exile in South Africa.

Machar had previously returned in 2016 following a peace agreement but fled the country soon after in the wake of clashes between SPLM-IO gunmen and government forces in the capital with Machar saying his life was in danger.

Since then regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have worked in tandem to bring the two sides together to sign the Revitalised Peace Agreement inked in the Sudanese capital Khartoum in September 2018.

Addressing guests Kiir apologised for the suffering that the five-year civil war had inflicted on civilians.

Several hundred thousand people were killed and millions were displaced since the country first descended into civil war in 2013, shortly after ceding from Sudan in 2011.

Machar, meanwhile, said he wanted to prove that he was a man of peace and that had he failed to return to Juba, people would have doubted this.

Regional leaders encouraged the two men to work together to achieve development and prosperity for South Sudan while reiterating their continued support for the implementation process.


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