The United Nations Secretary-General has welcomed the signing of the Agreement of Outstanding issues on Governance and Responsibility Sharing by the South Sudanese parties. The signing ceremony took place in Khartoum, Sudan.

Antonio Gutteres says the latest development is an important step in settling the conflict in South Sudan.

In the statement, the Secretary-General commended the leadership of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)–led, High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) and the efforts of the Republic of Sudan to broker an inclusive political settlement of the conflict in South Sudan.

President Salva Kiir and his former vice president turned rebel leader Riek Machar signed a ceasefire and power-sharing agreement in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Sunday.

Tens of thousands have lost their lives since the conflict began in 2013, while a third of the population has fled their homes.

The Secretary-General reaffirmed the continued commitment of the United Nations to support, in close coordination with IGAD and the African Union, the achievement of a fair, inclusive and sustainable peace agreement for the people of South Sudan.