South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar finalized and signed a ceasefire agreement in Khartoum on Sunday, August 5. Designed to end the civil war ongoing since 2013, the agreement stipulates that Riek Machar will be one of five vice presidents of South Sudan. Business closures and multiple gatherings and political rallies are expected in the capital Juba over the coming days to celebrate the agreement. Even though the peace accord is expected to last longer than previous ones, additional incidents of violence and civil unrest cannot be ruled out in 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 a peace agreement in Khartoum on June 27, following a series of negotiations. The terms of the agreement included a permanent ceasefire and the deployment of African Union troops to uphold the treaty. However, clashes between government forces (Sudan People's Liberation Army [SPLA]) and rebels took place on June 30, the day the ceasefire was due to take effect.
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.