S/Sudan unity in doubt over rebel leader’s no show
From MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) –SOUTH Sudan is at risk of renewed conflict after failure by rebel leader Riek Machar to return to the country to assume a role as second Vice President.
He was to begin his tenure earlier this week as part of a Transitional Government of National Unity to simmer conflict.
Machar is believed to be exiled in Uganda.
Reasons for his failure to return to Juba could not be ascertained, which has sparked condemnation.
John Kirby, United States Department of State Spokesperson, expressed “grave disappointment.”
US and other partners had played key roles to facilitate Machar’s return, including the return to Juba of his political advance team and security detail.
“His failure to go to Juba, despite efforts from the international community, places the people of South Sudan at risk of further conflict and suffering and undermines the peace agreement’s reform pillars,” said Kirby.
The pillars include demilitarizing South Sudan, injecting transparency of public finances, and pursuing justice and reconciliation.
South Sudan, the landlocked country of 12 million people, was formed in 2011 after independence from Sudan.
Tensions broke out in 2013 when President Salva Kiir and sacked Machar as vice-president.
Machar was later accused of trying to organise a coup.
He later fled the country.
The government and his rebels have been slow to implement a peace deal, with reports of ceasefire violations on both sides.
– CAJ News
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