South Sudan: President Kiir dissolves parliament in step towards peace

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir has dissolved parliament, the latest move in line with the country’s peace process.

The dissolution of parliament is a long-awaited step towards fulfilling the terms of a peace deal signed between South Sudan’s political rivals in 2018, which ended a brutal five-year-long civil war that killed an estimated 400,000 people and displaced millions. The move facilitates the appointment of lawmakers from both sides of the political rivalry to form a new parliament – a key stipulation of the peace agreement.

Kiir dissolves S. Sudan parliament

President Kiir dissolved parliament on Saturday without confirming a date for the formation of a new body. Based on the conditions of the peace deal signed between Kiir’s government and South Sudan’s armed opposition, the new parliament must be expanded from 400 lawmakers to 550, including members from all parties that signed the peace agreement.

Concerns remain over the fragility of South Sudan’s peace process and delays in implementing change, including the dissolution of parliament. Several peace deals have fallen apart since the civil conflict started in 2013 although none have progressed as far as this one – and the formation of a new parliament will mark the biggest stride towards peace at the political level.

Every step of South Sudan’s latest peace deal has faced delays and implementation challenges but the country continues to demonstrate gradual progress. However, violence persists in parts of the country, according to media reports and investigations carried out by the United Nations.

Featured image: “Salva Kiir, the president of southern Sudan” flickr photo by Al Jazeera English https://flickr.com/photos/aljazeeraenglish/5335499393 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.