path to peace
February 22, 2020

Saturday was a "momentous day" in South Sudan, but experts caution the young country still has a very difficult path to peace ahead of it.

Rebel leader Riek Machar was sworn in as vice president Saturday in Juba, the capital, as part of a unity government with rival President Salva Kiir. The two sides are hoping to end a years-long civil war that has led to at least 400,000 deaths and left millions of people homeless. The civil war was preceded by the country's bloody conflict to secede from Sudan in 2011.

Two previous peace attempts between Machar and Kiir had failed, but key concessions were made last week which prompted the agreement. "This action signifies the official end of the war and we can now declare a new dawn in South Sudan," Kiir said at the ceremony. "Peace has come to stay, not to be shaken again ever in this nation."

Still, there's a long way to go, argued Alan Boswell of the International Crisis Group, who was in Juba for Saturday's ceremony. "In other ways, though, it is a crawling step forward and doesn't drastically change the situation in this country," he told The Washington Post. "South Sudan isn't going to emerge from being a failed state overnight. It will take the work of generations to put its shattered pieces back together — even to get it back to where it was at independence." Read more at The Washington Post and Al Jazeera. Tim O'Donnell

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