The capital Juba will host National Peace celebrations on Wednesday, October 31, to commemorate a recent peace deal signed in a bid to end an intermittent civil war ongoing since 2013. The event will take place at the John Garang Memorial. Exiled opposition leader Riek Machar has returned to the country to attend the event.
An increased security presence is to be expected in the city during the holiday. Significant transportation disruptions are also anticipated due to the crowded conditions and road closures.
The recent ceasefire and power-sharing agreement was signed on September 12 between President Salva Kiir and Machar, the leader of the main opposition party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO). The agreement reinstates Machar as the country's vice president, the second time Machar has been reinstated since 2013. The last attempt failed when fighting broke out in Juba in July 2016 and Machar fled the country.
South Sudan has been wracked by years of political, interethnic, and intercommunal violence, exacerbated by border and oil revenue disputes with Sudan. Following the 2011 signature of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that gave the country its independence from Sudan, the predominantly north-south conflict has given way to a pattern of internal violence. Since December 2013, the country has experienced an intermittent civil war waged between supports of Kiir and Machar.
Individuals in Juba are advised to expect crowded conditions, allow additional time to travel, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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