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South Sudan opposition leader Machar to return to Juba

October 1, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s armed opposition leader, Riek Machar will return to the capital, Juba this month for a follow-up on meetings held with President Salva Kiir, an official said.

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar (L) speaks to reporters after meeting President Salva Kiir in Juba, September 11, 2019 (JUBA)

"Dr. Riek Machar will be Juba later this month to follow-up on matters discussed in recent meetings with President Salva Kiir," said Peter Manawa, the armed opposition’s (SPLM-IO) deputy spokesperson said Tuesday.

He said several outstanding issues in relation to the implementation of the peace agreement were discussed by the two rival leaders when they held face-to-face talks in the capital, Juba last month.

Manawa reiterated the SPLM-IO’s commitment to the peace process, stressing that regular meeting between Machar and Kiir will expedite the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

The SPLM-IO’s director for information and public relations, Puok Both Baluang also confirmed that the armed opposition leader would return to the South Sudan capital in October on a date to be fixed.

Meanwhile, CEPO, a South Sudan civil society entity, said it is time political leaders and elites changed their attitudes and behaviours ahead of the formation of a new government in November.

“The use of aggressive language and hostile social media propaganda and hate should be abolished. Compliance with 12th November 2019 is something necessary without any form of excuses. The compliance should be the establishment of the inclusive and diverse revitalized government of transitional unity,” CEPO noted in a statement issued Tuesday.

The government, it noted, should create a conducive environment for all political leaders, including civic space and media freedom.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when President Kiir accused Machar of 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.

The revitalized peace deal stipulates that there shall be a transitional government formed in South Sudan after eight months of the pre-transitional period (that ended in April) for a period of 36 months.