As South Sudan marks the fourth anniversary since the declaration of independence on 9 July 2011, the country remains locked in a civil war that is estimated to have claimed more than 20,000 lives. Oil earnings have collapsed, and a succession of agreements sponsored by the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) has failed to yield a unity government. But despite continued fighting, there have been developments in recent weeks that offer an outside chance of a political agreement.

In June, IGAD published the latest document setting out the terms for a ceasefire and the formation of a government of national unity. The ‘Agreement on the resolution of the conflict in the republic of South Sudan’ envisages a three-month transition period ahead of the formation of a unity government expected to rule for 30 months. (CONTINUED - 1195 WORDS)