President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar have signed a declaration of permanent ceasefire and security arrangements that comes into effect within 72 hours.
This new development was announced by the Sudanese Foreign Affairs Minister, Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed this afternoon during the signing ceremony at the Republican Palace in Khartoum.
The signed document includes disengagement and separation of forces in close proximity, withdrawal of allied troops, opening of humanitarian corridors and release of prisoners of war and political detainees.
The declaration signed by the two principals’ further states that, all relevant provisions of the 2015 peace agreement shall apply unless it’s agreed otherwise.
A similar cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians and granting humanitarian access was signed by the parties last December, but numerous alleged violations were reported hours after its endorsement.
However the new declaration calls for parties to agree on a self-monitoring mechanism of the signed permanent ceasefire.
“Furthermore IGAD and Africa union member states are kindly invited to deploy the necessary forces to supervise the agreed permanent ceasefire. The security agreements that shall be adopted shall aim at building a national army, police and other security organs of an all-inclusive character that shall be free from tribalism and ethnic affiliations, policies shall also be agreed upon for the disarmament of civilians all over the country,” Al-Dirdiri reading the agreement.
Al-Dirdiri says, President Kiir and Dr Riak Machar are also expected to conclude an agreement on the revised bridging proposal before the closure of this round of talks.
“After concluding the agreement on the revised bridging proposal, a pre transitional period of 120 days shall commence to be followed by a transitional period of 36 months. Sharing of power during the transitional period shall be in accordance with the formula that shall be agreed in the revised bridging proposal. During the transitional period the country shall be prepared for national elections that shall be conducted as agreed in the revitalized ARCSS. It is agreed that the election shall be open for all political parties and shall be free and fair.”
The two principals also agreed to intensify efforts to improve infrastructure and basic services in South Sudan particularly areas directly connected with the livelihood of citizens.
President Kiir and Dr. Machar also reached an agreement on how to provide security in the oil fields in Unity block 1, 2 and 4 and Tarjas block 5A respectively.
They also agreed to work in collaboration with the Sudan government to rehabilitate the oil fields
“If need be the government of South Sudan while undertaking its security duties shall work in this regards in collaboration and coordination with the government of Sudan. The government of South Sudan in collaboration with the government of Sudan shall immediately rehabilitate the oil fields identified above and other as will be agreed upon for the resumption and the restoration of the previous levels of oil production. All the outstanding issues related to oil sector particular on the cost of oil field rehabilitation shall be technically assessed and economically valued by the relevant authorities of South Sudan and Sudan respectively.”
In the agreement on rehabilitation of the oil fields with Sudan, Al-Dirdiri Mohamed stated that, each party have leverage to seek for an impartial technical third party to independently verify the assessment done on the oil fields, but without causing delays in the joint operations.
Both President Kiir and Dr Machar have agreed to use the oil proceeds to improve the livelihood of the South Sudanese citizens.
In this regard, President Kiir and Dr. Machar appealed to the international community to extend support in this efforts.