President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday arrived in the South Sudanese capital Juba for the celebration of second peace agreement signed in August 2018.
Museveni joined his counterparts including; Sudan’s Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki.
Other foreign dignitaries in Juba are; Ethiopian ceremonial president Sahle-Work Zewde and Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.
Museveni accompanied by Senior Presidential Advisor on Defense and Security Gen. Proscovia Nalweyiso, Ugandan Ambassador to South Sudan Col. Ronnie Balya, Bukedea Woman Member of Parliament Anita Among, among others were received at Juba International Airport by President Salva Kiir.
The celebrations being held under the theme “Celebrating the dawn of peace, appreciating friends, cherishing reconciliation and Unity,” are taking place at the John Garang Museum in Juba.
The rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar arrived in the capital early today from Khartoum.
Kiir and Machar inked the second peace deal in August mediated by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an east African bloc.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile. Under the new peace deal signed last month, Machar will be Vice President Salva Kiir’s deputy once again.
The South Sudan conflict has had a huge effect on trade. During stability, Uganda used to export over US700m worth of goods. With the war, this has shrunk to a miserable US$200million.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 85 per cent of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are women and children under the age of 18.
Other refugees are in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.