South Sudan has finally inked a Power-Sharing Deal agreement after the country’s two major arch-rivals came under pressure from the regional and the international community to end hostilities. It is the region’s hope that this is not just a public relations gesture as various parties replenish their arsenals. It cannot be forgotten that a similar peace deal was signed in 2015 but fell apart a year later in a deadly battle that saw Machar flee into exile.
President Kiir has lamented that the bloated government will come with its challenges. "They need security, they need vehicles, they need houses...five vice presidents, this is a very big responsibility to manage," he said. "I need to get for them their transport, and one person needs a motorcade of maybe five vehicles. Where will I get this?"
The current leaders must understand that this is not the time to plunder the meagre resources in South Sudan. Many workers in the country have gone without pay for months. This is a time for sacrifice. A time to give birth to a free South Sudan. A South Sudan where peace, opportunities and prosperity prevail. The International Crisis Group estimates that more than 100,000 lives have been lost in the young nation from from 2013 to 2015 alone. In addition, about 2 million South Sudanese have become refugees in neighbouring countries. As the late John Garang put it, let the leaders, like sheep, move back and reflect, and charge forward to better the country.