The key ingredient still lacking is trust.”
Shearer, hailed the agreement while warning that the “greatest challenges are yet to come.
“We need to be persuaded by the demonstration of collective political will of the parties to implement an agreed and realistic implementation plan,” he said at Wednesday’s signing. “The key ingredient still lacking is trust. Those signing the agreement are former friends and foes. From my discussions with the parties, suspicion is widespread,” he said.
Despite the deal, peace in South Sudan remains shaky. Unlike the 2015 agreement that was met with jubilation and celebrations in the whole country, the signing David Shearer, head of United Nations Mission in South Sudan of the Revitalised Peace Agreement did not elicit much excitement. Most South Sudanese have adopted a wait and see stance.
Many of the concerns stem from the Troika — the US, UK and Norway — the major funders of the South Sudan peace process and the key donors to the country. The three countries did not guarantee the agreement as they did in 2015.
Jervasio Okot, a South Sudanese political analyst based in Kenya, said that the sceptical mood in Juba is an indication that the citizens do not trust the politicians to implement a permanent ceasefire, and that the refusal by the Troika to guarantee the deal points to donors withholding funds for its implementation. Just hours after the signing, the government forces engaged with Dr Machar’s forces in heavy fighting in Kendiri and Mangalotore in Kajo-keji County