Thousands of citizens converged at Yambio Freedom Square on Saturday to witness the signing of the agreement.
Also present were the armed youth who surprisingly showed up during the occasion to show to the public that the conflict was over.
The peace deal was signed on behalf of President Salva Kiir’s government by his security advisor, Tut Gatluak, while John Faustino Mbereke inked the deal on behalf of SSNLM. Both parties, during the occasion, vowed to respect terms of references contained in the document.
Speaking at the occasion, Gatluak appreciated the South Sudanese president, Kiir, for having chosen the path of dialogue between his government and armed youth in Yambio county.
He said the existence of many arms in the hands of the people has created insecurity across the county, leading to several killings and various forms of atrocities committed.
He urged all stakeholders to protect the agreement so that peace can be given a chance.
Gatluak offered over 50,000 South Sudanese pounds (SSP), equivalent of $1,400 US dollars to women, local artists and a bull to the armed youth.
On his part, the governor of the newly created Gbudue State, Major General Patrick Raphael Zamoi, applauded everyone for efforts they have made to reach to the signing of the final agreement with the armed youth, adding that his previous prediction of an imminent peace agreement has now come true.
He congratulated the faith-based Council for Peace which was formed and composed of different churches and Muslim communities in Yambio, headed by the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Tombura Yambio, Edwardo Barani Hiboro.
He revealed that with the signing of the peace agreement an amount of over 10 million US dollars will be given to the state by the United States government to repair road from Juba to through to Yambio, adding discussions are also under way to open road to Congo.
He urged all ministers and commissioners to step up their activities now that peace has returned to the state.
Meanwhile the representative of SSNLM, Bakoyogo Santo, delivered a speech on behalf of their group, giving thanks to the president for accepting to reach peace with their group.
He appealed to the community to forgive them for all what has gone wrong during their struggle and also added they have as well forgiven those who “played bad politics against them.”
“Even if the government forces attacked them early this year it could not stop them to continue asking for their rights in a peaceful manner and even if their former leader Wanga Victor lost his life after sustaining injury during the fighting,” he said.
He urged the government to respect the agreement this time and implement it with good faith so that permanent peace could come to Yambio and Western Equatoria at large.
The head of faith-based Council of Peace, Bishop Edwardo Hiboro, said it was not easy to achieve the peace because there are some people who misunderstood their role as church leaders, which is to protect and value lives.
He commended President Kiir for accepting to reach the final deal with the armed youth, but urged those in other states to learn from the occasion where all parties accepted dialogue to reach peace and it is only in Yambio where peace is signed in a Freedom square.
Details of the deal are yet to be made public.
There are however other armed groups in the state who are yet to sign a peace deal with the government, including the group of Arrow Boys led by the former information minister in Western Equatoria state, Charles Kisanga.
Other groups led by General Welebe are allied to the armed opposition faction led by former vice president, Riek Machar.