Riek Machar, the South Sudanese rebel leader, returned to the country Tuesday after fleeing in 2013 and was sworn in as vice president. His deal with President Salva Kiir is aimed at ending the two-year civil war that had engulfed the world’s newest nation.
Here are the circumstances that led to the fighting, from the BBC:
Mr Machar fled Juba at the start of the civil war in December 2013.
He had been accused of trying to organise a coup, which he denied - but it set off a round of tit-for-tat killings, which developed into a full-blown conflict.
The fighting split quickly along ethnic lines. Machar is from the Nuer ethnic group, the country’s second-largest, while Kiir is Dinka, the largest group. The conflict has spawned a massive refugee crisis, pushing many of those fleeing the fighting to Ethiopia’s Gambela region, which abuts South Sudan.
That region was the scene last week of a bloody conflict involving South Sudanese tribes, this time between the minority Murle and the Nuer.
On April 15, Murle tribesman raided 13 villages in the Jakawa area of Gambela. Witnesses told Al Jazeera that the fighters, who were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and dressed in army fatigues, launched simultaneous, well-organized attacks on villages where the Nuer and Anuak ethnic groups live. Some 208 people were killed in the raids, dozens wounded, and 108 children abducted, Getachew Reda, Ethiopia’s communications minister, told Reuters. In response, Ethiopian troops conducted cross-border operations last week into South Sudan, with the government’s approval, to rescue the abducted children.