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S. Sudan parties sign long-awaited revitalized peace deal

President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar sign peace deal. [Michael Tewelde/AFP]

The long awaited peace agreement has finally been signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Salva Kiir signed on behalf of the government; Dr Riek Machar signed for the SPLM-IO while Gabriel Changson inked on behalf of the opposition Alliance.

This brings to an end the talks on the revitalization of the 2015 peace accord, which was violated in July 2016 when the bodyguards of Kiir and Riek clashed at the presidential palace in Juba.

Speaking to the press after the signing ceremony on Wednesday evening, the minister of information, Michael Makuei, called on all South Sudanese to support its implementation.

“Nobody abstained from the agreement and from now onward we will start with the implementation. My appeal to the people of South Sudan is let us forgive ourselves,” he said.

For his part, a member of the opposition group, Dr Lam Akol describes the signing as big step forward:

“I must say it is a big step forward, meaning it is a bright day for South Sudan that the parties have finally put their signature on a peace agreement that we hope will last.”