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Peace Deal Bringing Little Celebration to Juba

South Sudan’s Suffering ‘Immense’

The president of the world’s newest nation reluctantly signed a peace deal Wednesday, bringing some hope that the civil war in South Sudan will come to an end.

But according to Fides, “in Juba there was no celebratory atmosphere because the suffering caused by the civil war is immense.”

That’s what local sources told the news agency about President Salva Kiir’s agreement to the deal, which he signed under threat of UN sanctions.

South Sudan became an independent state July 9, 2011, following a referendum. Civil war broke out in December 2013.

The war has cost tens of thousands of lives and displaced as many as 2.2 million people.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, the leader of Caritas South Sudan expressed some hope that the war would come to an end, despite the president signing the peace agreement with what he referred to as “serious reservations.”

Rebel leader Riek Machar signed the deal last week and is now expected to return to his post as vice president.

The peace agreement was sponsored by IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development which includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda).

“Salva Kiir decided to sign but suffered strong pressure from some members of his own government and the army who asked him not to sign. The person, who fought against the agreement is the army commander, who opposed until the last minute. Yesterday there was tension in Juba” said Fides sources.

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