The slot of the fifth VP is yet to be filled, waiting the decision of South Sudan Opposition Alliance.
“We are proud to report to him that we have also reconciled,” President Kiir said Saturday, February 22 referencing Pope Francis and added in reference to his efforts symbolized in the kiss of their feet, “We were greatly humbled and challenged.”
“The official end of war, and we can now proclaim a new dawn,” President Kiir declared at the formation of the unity government based on the September 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and expressed the hope that South Sudan will “ never be shaken again.”
President Kiir said he had forgiven Machar and went on to ask for Machar’s forgiveness. He also called on his kinspersons, the Dinka, and those of Machar, the Nuer, to reach out to each other for reconciliation and peaceful co-existence.
It is a three-year establishment that should pave the way for the displaced populations to return to their respective homes, including ancestral ones.
Last month, the Rome-based lay Catholic association, Sant’Egidio community, organized a meeting that brought together representatives of government and various opposition parties in South Sudan and facilitated an agreement to end hostilities and to allow “continued and uninterrupted humanitarian access” as the country prepared itself for the form a unity government that was realized Saturday, February 22.
Last November, some days after Pope Francis led Catholic faithful in praying for peace and reconciliation in South Sudan and expressed the hope to visit the East African country, the Holy Father reconfirmed his desire to visit the country and disclosed that it would be a joint pastoral visit, together with the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, Archbishop Justin Welby.
“I rejoice with the South Sudanese, especially the displaced, hungry and grieving who waited so long,” the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has been quoted as saying in a Tweet.
The formation of the unity government is a realization of the desires or many, including the Bishop of Yei, Erkolano Lodu Tombe, who recently expressed his optimism for the formation of a unity government and had called upon Christians to pray for peace as negotiations toward the coalition government were taking place.
However, in the latest coalition establishment, there are issues that remain unresolved such as the integration of the rebel fighters into a national army and its status.