Former Rebel Leader, Riek Machar Botched Return in Juba

Kiir vs MacharJUBA, South Sudan, Apr 19, 2016

The long awaited return of the former rebel leader Riek Machar on Monday 18th April 2016 to the capital of South Sudan was delayed with his spokesman citing ‘logistical reason’.

“We are committed to the peace agreement, but there have been logistical issues and the first vice president, Riek Machar, will come tomorrow,” Machar’s spokesman William Ezekiel, said on Monday.

The grand return of Machar in Juba will mark an important step in South Sudan in. Riek Machar is expected to be sworn as first vice president.

Machar has served as deputy to President Salva Kiir until he was fired a few months before the start of war in December 2013.

Since then, the nation has been rocked with civil pushing it to the brink of famine and escalating peace.

Hope was renewed by signing of a peace deal August 2015 aimed at aimed more than two years of civil war and political standoff between Kiir and Machar.

The civil war in South Sudan has left Tens of Thousands people killed and more than two million displaced from their homes. UN report indicates more than six million are in need of emergency food aid.

Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup; claims Machar has denied. The standoff thereby setting off a cycle for retaliatory killings that has seen the poor country divided along ethnic lines.

Machar (rebel leader) is in his tribal stronghold of Pagak in the east of the country and was expected to arrive in Juba on Monday, but despite the latest hitch, his spokesman Ezekiel stressed the rebels remain committed to peace.

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