CCM National Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit (left), former South Sudan Vice-President Riek Machar Teny (second right) and Mr Deng Alor Kuol sign an agreement to reunite the SPLM factions in Arusha yesterday. Looking on are the widow of the late SPLM Chairman John Garang, Ms Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, and an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Thobias Makoba.
CCM National Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit (left), former South Sudan Vice-President Riek Machar Teny (second right) and Mr Deng Alor Kuol sign an agreement to reunite the SPLM factions in Arusha yesterday. Looking on are the widow of the late SPLM Chairman John Garang, Ms Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, and an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Thobias Makoba.

Speaking shortly after the factions signed a pact to end civil war in their country, Deputy South African President Cyril Ramaphosa pointed out that inking such a historic deal was one thing while implementation of the peace accord was another.

CCM National Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit (left), former South Sudan Vice-President Riek Machar Teny (second right) and Mr Deng Alor Kuol sign an agreement to reunite the SPLM factions in Arusha yesterday. Looking on are the widow of the late SPLM Chairman John Garang, Ms Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, and an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Thobias Makoba.
CCM National Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit (left), former South Sudan Vice-President Riek Machar Teny (second right) and Mr Deng Alor Kuol sign an agreement to reunite the SPLM factions in Arusha yesterday. Looking on are the widow of the late SPLM Chairman John Garang, Ms Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, and an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Thobias Makoba.

Mr Ramaphosa narrated to the South Sudan leaders a past incident in which former South African President Nelson Mandela forgot his pair of boots at the residence of Mrs Vicky Nsilo Swai, a CCM?s women wing leader, in Moshi.

?The boots were sent back to him almost 30 years later after he was released from prison when he had successfully led South Africa into a free republic,? said Mr Ramaphosa, adding that President Salva Kiir and his arch-opponent, Mr Riek Machar, also needed to forget their boots in Arusha where they have been discussing their country?s peace.

?Once we are satisfied that South Sudan is back to form as a free and peaceful country, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania will then send back to you the pairs of boots, signalling a new era,? said Mr Ramaphosa.

On his part, Mr Kikwete used the Kiswahili adage, ?Kuzaa siyo kazi; kazi ni kulea,? (It is not hard to give birth; but it is hard to bring them up), indicating that the real challenge facing South Sudan was to maintain the Arusha Agreement and not only signing it.

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda observed that while Africa was becoming synonymous with conflicts, it could not afford to witness its youngest nation plunging into chaos and unrest.

His Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta said he looked forward to a new peaceful and prosperous South-Sudan because this was an important component in the future wellbeing of the East African Region.

Last week, the Secretary General for the East African Community (EAC), Dr Richard Sezibera, had revealed that the process to integrate South Sudan to become the 6th member of the Arusha-headquartered regional economic grouping were to resume in June.

South Sudan?s warring factions inked the political deal designed to boost efforts to end their year-old civil war. Heads of state from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South-Africa congratulated the SPLM leadership for reaching the Arusha agreement to reunify their party for the good of South Sudan.

The rival factions had previously continued to fight it out on the ground as the five previous ceasefire agreements signed over the course of 2014 were short-lived.

The talks in Tanzania under the CCM guidance were a parallel effort to kick-start peace negotiations brokered by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional bloc in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Another round of IGAD talks will be held on the sidelines of an African Union summit in Addis Ababa at the end of January. No overall death toll for the war has been kept, either by the government, rebels or the United Nations, although the International Crisis Group says it estimates that at least 50,000 people have been killed.

By MARC NKWAME, Tanzania Daily News

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