South Sudan President Signs Peace Deal With Rebels

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has signed a peace deal with rebels more than a week after refusing to do so, at a ceremony in the capital Juba attended by African regional leaders.

The presidents of Kenya and Uganda, and the prime minister of Ethiopia, who all helped mediate the negotiations, were at signing event on Wednesday.

Rebel leader Riek Machar signed the accord in the Ethiopian capital last week, but Kiir had said on the same day that his government needed more time to study the text.

The UN Security Council had said that it was ready to take immediate action if Kiir did not sign the agreement on Wednesday.

Al Jazeera’s Anna Cavell, reporting from Juba, said the move was potentially very important and could change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people affected by the civil war.

“However, some of the top commanders have split from [rebel leader] Machar, and they say the peace deal means nothing to them, so … it does not mean that it would end the fighting,” she said.

South Sudan has been at war since December 2013, when a split within the security forces escalated into a violent rebellion led by Machar.
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