It took more than 20 months and seven failed deals and cease-fires for South Sudan’s fractious leaders to finally sign a peace agreement.
That was the easy part.
So what are the chances that two rival South Sudanese leaders — brilliant warriors who have been so far dismal at governing — will make this difficult peace accord work?
It should have been a hopeful moment as President Salva Kiir signed the agreement Wednesday in Juba, the capital, a week after other parties to the accord did so. However, his tone was so bitter that he sounded more like a man who had decided to not sign. He released a long list of concerns, saying peace was being “imposed” by the international community and calling for revisions.
He had one strong motive for signing the agreement, which will set up a national unity government in November for 30 months, followed by elections in 2018: If he didn’t sign, he risked United Nations sanctions.