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South Sudan’s Kiir and Machar to meet in Juba: sources

September 8, 2019 (JUBA) - South Sudan rebel leader, Riek Machar is expected to make his first visit to Juba in a year for talks Monday with President Salva Kiir, government and opposition sources confirmed.

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President Kiir (R) and SPLM-Io leader Machar shake hands after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement on 12 September 2018 (photo AFP)

"He’s expected to come and sit with President Salva Kiir so that they can discuss all the outstanding issues of the peace agreement and the way forward," information minister, Michael Makuei told AFP on Sunday.

He said Machar would be accompanied by a representative from the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

"He’s coming for a peace mission," Kang Pal Chol, a senior member of the Machar-led armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) told AFP.

The two rivals last met at the Vatican, Italy on the invitation of Pope Francis in April this year.

South Sudan descended into war in mid-December 2013, when Kiir accused his former deputy-turned rebel leader for plotting a coup.

In September 2018, the rival factions involved in the conflict signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.

Meanwhile, the last time the South Sudanese leader was in Juba was in October last year for celebrations to mark the signing of the deal.

The power-sharing arrangements under the peace deal were supposed to take effect in May, but the process was delayed by six months until November as both sides disagreed over the terms.