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20 Mar 2020 | 05:04 AM UTC

South Sudan: Unity government inaugurated March 17

President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar inaugurate unity government after months of negotiations to end civil war on March 17; monitor the situation



South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar inaugurated a unity government on Tuesday, March 17, marking the end of the civil war, ongoing since 2013. A total of 34 ministers have been designated. Even though the designation of a new government is expected to ensure peace across the country, additional incidents of violence and civil unrest cannot be ruled out over the near-term.


South Sudan has been wracked by years of political, interethnic, and intercommunal violence - exacerbated by border and oil revenue disputes with Sudan. President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar signed an initial peace agreement on September 2018, following a series of negotiations. The unity government was only agreed on February 22, 2020.


Many Western governments advise against nonessential travel to South Sudan. Certain regions should be particularly avoided, including the states of Unity and Upper Nile, the north of Warrap state, parts of Eastern and Central Equatoria states, and areas along the border with the Central African Republic, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ensure that proper security protocols are in place if traveling to the above areas.