By Allison Fedirka
The long road to peace in South Sudan may have just gotten a little shorter. South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar have agreed to a framework for a peace deal to end the country’s five-year civil war. The most notable thing about this agreement, however, is the pivotal role Ethiopia played in brokering it. It suggests Ethiopia is prepared to be more assertive than it has been in the past, which could shift the balance of power in the region.
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The peace deal, dubbed the Khartoum Declaration, includes a permanent cease-fire set to start June 30. It also calls for disengagement, troop withdrawals, opening of borders for humanitarian efforts, and the release of political detainees and prisoners of war. The timing of the agreement is directly related to looming U.S.-led U.N. sanctions against South Sudan that were set to start if the conflict didn’t end by June 30.
South Sudan had tried and failed for years
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