Washington — Today, South Sudan's government and opposition forces signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Following weeks of intense mediated talks, this agreement is just the first step on South Sudan's long road to a durable peace.
Violence in South Sudan began in late December, and negotiations had been deadlocked over the issue of 11 political detainees, whom opposition forces, led by former Vice President Riek Machar, wanted to be freed before discussing a ceasefire.
John Prendergast, Enough Project Co- Founder, says: "Though important, the signing is just a small first step on a long road to peace. If an inclusive peace process is not constructed that seeks to address root causes, the conflict will continue, with deadly consequences."
Akshaya Kumar, Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan analyst, says: "In South Sudan, the hardest negotiations are still ahead. Even if all combatants lay down their arms as a result of today's agreement - which is far from guaranteed - a sustainable resolution to the crisis will require an inclusive national dialogue around the country's governance framework, a commitment to accountability and security sector reform.