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Sudanese rebels unlikely to honor signed peace agreement

south sudan

Screen capture: South Sudanese rebels said they won't rest until Juba is captured.


by Joseph Earnest  January 23, 2014


Newscast Media KHARTOUM, Sudan—A peace accord was signed on Thursday, in which the South Sudanese rebels led by Riek Machar and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, agreed to a ceasefire a day before the African Union summit is to be held.


Yet according to the words of the rebels themselves, their goal is to continue fighting until they capture the capital city Juba, and drive Salva Kiir out of the country.  


BBC journalist Mark Lowen was granted rare access by the rebels at the stronghold of Lankien, where they are assembled and ready to embark on capturing Juba, as shown in this video taken January 23, 2014. (pop-up)


In a statement, the White House appears optimistic about the recently-signed agreement since it is considered a critical first step toward building lasting peace in South Sudan, and holding accountable those who committed horrific abuses against the South Sudanese people.


Based on the rebels' determination to drive Kiir out of Sudan, the signing of the agreement seems to have been a ceremonial occurrence that doesn't hold  much weight, but is designed for both sides to buy time, while they calibrate the situation on how to proceed to the next phase of the armed conflict.


In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Erick Reeves who has spent the last 14 years as a South Sudan researcher and analyst believes an agreement alone is not enough.


"There needs to be an overhaul in the governance," Reeves said. "The government of South Sudan right now reflects more than anything else the structure of the guerrilla movement known as the Sudan People's Liberation Army. But it's not a guerrilla movement anymore, it's a government of an independent country. And it needs to start acting like that. And it needs to reform governance in ways that make it much more democratic than it presently is," he added. Add Comments>>











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