Hopes high South Sudan peace deal will revive economy


A peace deal in South Sudan revived hope not just that the guns will stop firing but economic stability can return.

Since war broke out in 2013, thousands of people have been killed, a third of the population has fled and the economy, which depends on oil, has been ruined.

On Sunday President Salva Kiir and former vice president turned rebel leader Riek Machar signed a ceasefire and power sharing agreement in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

Previous deals failed to end conflict and residents of Juba are desperate for this one to succeed.
“What people want is services. People want peace. People want their children to go to school. They want hospitals and security and clean water. These are things citizens are hoping for from our leaders,” John Kenyi (30) a newspaper vendor in Juba, told Reuters.

Sarah Duku, a 38-year-old mother of three, said: “We hope the parties come back to South Sudan and implement it this time. As the mothers of this country we need peace so our economy can improve.”

Sudan’s government on Sunday said oil would be pumped from South Sudan’s Unity State through Sudan for export from September 1.

South Sudan gained independence in 2011 after a bitter struggle but two years later conflict along ethnic lines erupted because of a dispute between Kiir and Machar.

A 2015 peace deal briefly halted the fighting but fell apart after Machar returned to the capital the following year. Other deals also failed.

Kiir said last week the new peace mediated by Sudan and east African nations would hold because it was not imposed by outsiders.

Some smaller opposition groups doubt the new deal because it does not allocate power fairly.
“The people are tired even if you call them you want to recruit them to go for war, they won’t. So the leaders are left alone and there is nothing they can do except to sign peace,” said James Okuk, a political analyst and lecturer in Juba.