South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his erstwhile rival Riek Machar finally formed the long-awaited Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) at the weekend in line the Entebbe Accord signed late last year.
Wherever they may be, South Sudanese must have sighed with a huge relief at the prospect of their motherland once against being steered towards peace, stability and prosperity.
Compliments also go to all the stakeholders, who in whichever way, made the milestones a reality. Regional bloc Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) and the Troika (the US, the UK and Norway) never at any time blinked in nudging the South Sudan leaders to close ranks.
However, the formation of the transitional government was the easier part. The hard work begins now, to ensure that the peace deal holds for the intended three years and eventually paves the way for a new leadership elected under universal adult suffrage. The interim government must not fail the people this time round.
Having resolved the contentious issue of the state boundaries, President Kiir and Dr Machar must now pay special attention to the sensitive issue of security arrangement.
The vetting and training of their respective soldiers is ongoing but the unification of armed groups and the training of the 1,500 elite force to protect the VIPs has not yet been done. That must be done as a matter of urgency for the last flare-up in 2013 revolved around security or lack thereof for Dr Machar in particular.
South Sudanese civilians have suffered for far too long as their leaders haggle over power. President Kiir and Dr Machar should now be ready for the consequences should they fail in their renewed mandate.