The president of South Sudan and his former vice president signed a peace deal in Jun 2019 in a bid to end the civil war that has raged for most of the new country’s existence, and the rivals have agreed to form an interim government by the November date.
Many aspects of the peace deal have yet to be put in place, including the integration of former rebels into the army.
The peace deals signed by President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and former Vice President Riek Machar, who is from the second largest community, the Nuer, have fallen apart in the past.
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) led to the creation of the semiautonomous region of southern Sudan, and South Sudan became an independent nation in 2011 from an international push to end the decades of conflict between the north and south of what was then Sudan. But by Dec 2013, a feud between forces loyal to Kiir and Machar loyalists drew the new country into its own civil war.
The New York Times reports that hunger is widespread, more than 1.75 million people have been displaced, hundreds of thousands have become refugees, and nearly 400,000 were believed killed in the civil war.
Despite the new agreement, many worry that a lasting resolution to the conflict is still a long way off.
Date written/update: 2019-09-27