South Sudan’s opposition leader, Riek Machar is expected back in the country on Wednesday 31st October more than two years since he fled into exile in line with the new peace deal agreed by both sides. The return of Machar is an affirmation of his confidence in a latest peace deal that will re-install him as the deputy president.
Under the deal signed last month, Machar will be President Salva Kiir’s deputy once again. That arrangement has twice collapsed in deadly fighting, once when the civil war broke out in December 2013 and again in July 2016 when an earlier peace agreement collapsed and Machar fled into neighboring Congo.
While the new peace deal has been criticized for its slow implementation, with missed deadlines and continued cease-fire violations. There is hope that the top leaders will put aside their differences and embark on a truth, justice, reconciliation, and restoration of the newest nation after a war that has led to the deaths of over 400,000 people.