Make South Sudan deal work

Thursday April 28 2016

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Following the swearing-in on Tuesday of Dr Riek Machar as vice-president of South Sudan, the country, which has not known peace for nearly two years, now has a chance to chart a bold new path to stability and progress.

Dr Machar resumes a position that he held until he was sacked, sparking off the bloodletting that has marred the dream of a prosperous new nation.

That promise evaporated as former allies became deadly foes.

The vice-president’s return had been held up for long due to disagreements on security arrangements, a pointer to the fact that the mutual mistrust and suspicion between him and President Salva Kiir will not go away overnight.

But credit goes to the international community, especially the United Nations and the foreign diplomats involved in the negotiations, for keeping up the faith.

It is now up to President Kiir and Dr Machar to put aside their egos and make every effort to bring South Sudan back on track.

Leaders come and go, but the nation will always remain.

The two must, for the sake of their people, do all they can to make this new arrangement work so that the job of reconstruction can begin in earnest.

Never again should South Sudan allow itself to be drawn into another bloody political feud.