South Sudan has been facing a bloody civil war virtually from the moment it became an independent nation, with factions, divided heavily along ethnic lines backed by the president and the vice president, respectively, carrying out tit-for-tat attacks.
In a rare sign of hope for the fledgling nation, President Salva Kiir has announced a unilateral ceasefire, and ordered the nation’s prosecutor general to review the cases against the nation’s many political prisoners, with an eye toward releasing many of them.
Analysts are skeptical that this is going to actually lead to a ceasefire, however, as there is as yet no word from Vice President Machar’s faction on whether or not they intend to go along with the idea, and it’s doubtful either side could maintain a unilateral ceasefire for long in this situation.
Moreover, Kiir’s announcement was light on details, providing no indication when his unilateral ceasefire would begin, and making no suggestion he was looking to negotiate with the other side. Without the possibility of talks, it’s unclear how this would be sustainable.