South Sudan’s president has finally signed a peace deal to end a 20-month conflict with rebels.
President Salva Kiir had been threatened with UN sanctions if he delayed any longer. His rebel opponent signed last week.
However at the ceremony Salva still expressed “serious reservations” over the compromise agreement and called for the support of regional leaders:
“I warn you, you regional leaders to stand with us in the implementation,otherwise we may spoil it if it is left to us. There is now fighting today and that fighting is uncalled for.”
Thousands of people have been killed since the conflict erupted in December 2013 after a power struggled between Reik Machar, an ethnic Nuer, and Salva Kiir, from the dominant Dinka group. The fighting has increasingly followed ethnic lines, unsettling an already volatile region.
The deal which follows months of on-off negotiations, hosted by Ethiopia, and several broken ceasefires, is meant to end months of brutal civil war which will see rebel leader Riek Machar return as vice-president.
During the 20 months of hostilities more than 2.2 million people have been from their homes in the world’s youngest state, which broke away from Sudan in 2011.