By Andrew K Michael, Juba, South Sudan
September 2, 2015 (SSB) —– At 1654 hours on 26 August 2015, H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of the Republic of South Sudan inked an accord signed earlier by Dr. Riek Machar of the SPLM-IO and a former detainees’ representative, Pagan Amum. The signing, which was witnessed by heads of states predominately from East African countries and Sudan, has ushered a new dawn for the people of South Sudan who have borne the brunt of war for the last 20 months.
With this peace agreement, people hiding for the lives in the swampy areas will think of returning to their homes in spite of having been reduced to ashes. With this peace agreement, the people of South Sudan will have a second chance to bring about reforms in their country. With this peace agreement, the people of South Sudan can reconcile and reunite in diversity rather than divided by diversity!
For the first time in 20 months, the national television, SSTV, showed and hosted South Sudanese artists from all corners of the country, depicting diversity of the great nation ruined by war. It was amazing to see those youngsters play because they know peace would once again bring happiness to the people whose livelihoods had been robbed.
Having signed the peace deal, how will the government ensure service delivery to the people? How will it reconcile the people whose thinking, as they were made to believe so during the war, is ashamedly based on ethnicity and regionalization? What frameworks will the government put in place to attain permanent peace?