South Sudan peace deal signed

South Sudan's rival leaders after signing a peace deal
South Sudan's rival leaders after signing a peace deal
By Mark Armstrong with Reuters
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South Sudan's warring factions have signed a peace deal its hoped can end conflict that has cost thousands of lives and displaced millions of people

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South Sudan's warring leaders finally put their names to a peace deal which aims to end a five-year conflict in which tens of thousands of people have been killed.

It comes after two days of talks between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, a former vice president.

The civil war began in 2013, less than two years after it gained independence from Sudan, and all previous attempts to end it have failed.

It started after clashes broke out between forces loyal to Kiir and those backing Machar, who was then the vice president. They soon erupted into all-out civil war dividing the country along ethnic lines.

The conflict has displaced around three million people, ruined the country's agriculture and battered its economy.

Despite the agreement, signed in neighbouring Sudan, there is caution due to the previous failed attempts.

It is hoped the framework deal will lead to the delivery of badly needed humanitarian aid.

Peace in Africa's youngest nation has wider global repercussion. The conflict has produced thousands of refugees and migrants contributing the immigration crisis dividing Europe.

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