South Sudan: Juba residents jubilant over new peace deal
Thousands of residents of South Sudan's capital Juba have been celebrating a peace deal struck between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, which rekindles hope that the guns will stop firing.
The second power-sharing agreement deal was signed on Sunday in Khartoum, capital of neighbouring Sudan, after protracted negotiations between the warring factions.
Many turned out at the airport to welcome Kiir back from Khartoum after the deal.
The agreement aims to put an end to nearly four years of conflict that has killed tens of thousands, uprooted millions from their homes, and ruined South Sudan's economy.
The deal was signed in the presence of Presidents Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and Ismail Oma Ghuelleh of Djibouti.
"We have to concentrate on the implementation of the agreement and we have to work on uniting our people," Kiir said on Sunday after signing the deal.
The peace agreement has been applauded by some rights activists.
Rights campaigner Beny Gideon Mabor told Al Jazeera the latest deal is a genuine attempt by Khartoum to end the armed conflict in South Sudan.
"Little do people know the roles played by Khartoum in supporting allied militia forces that continue to destabilise South Sudan during the days of liberation struggle and after independence," Mabor said.
"This made Khartoum to be both a referee and a player at the same time, which is impracticable."
But Juba resident Flora Yawa told Al Jazeera that she is cautiously optimistic of the new peace deal.
"When the 2016 fighting happened, we were trapped. So much has changed since the war. My sister lost her husband and we also lost another relative. We couldn't do anything. We just headed home. Now we just want peace," she said.