The recently-signed peace deal between the Juba regime and the breakaway faction of the SPLM-IO has so far held, and the stern warning by South Sudan’s Salva Kiir to his army and militia commanders to strictly observe the ceasefire and not launch fresh attacks on areas held by his opponents has gone some way to give reassurance that the deal will hold until IGAD troops arrive to stand between the former battle lines.
While East Africa, wary by the failure of every single ceasefire in the past and more by the lamentation of the regime over much of the signed peace deals being not really to their liking, has for now adopted a wait-and-see policy, according to reports that trade visits have begun to rise again. Key obstacles in South Sudan’s need to import goods from the region, mainly from Uganda and Kenya, are the empty coffers of the Central Bank of South Sudan, which has left no significant amounts of hard currency in its vaults as of now. Money inflows from renewed oil exports will eventually begin to change this, but for now, the South Sudanese currency has taken a severe hit as the black market value of the SS pound has risen sharply now that the guns have fallen silent.
Bahr el Jebel Safaris, which remained the only fully-licensed safari operator in South Sudan even though their expeditions had been halted since the outbreak of hostilities in mid-December 2013, has expressed cautious optimism to this correspondent that by early next year a resumption may be on the cards of their trips for intrepid explorers.