Machar Says He Will Return to South Sudan to Take up FVP Role
South Sudan’s leading rebel figure Riek Machar says he will return to South Sudan to take up his position as vice-president.
The opposition leader will be returning to the same post he was fired from by President Salva Kiir in 2013. After more than two years of civil war between the pair’s forces, Kiir announced last week that Machar would take his former post once again, prompting hopes that peace could be on its way to South Sudan.
Security questions remain
The appointment of Machar as South Sudan’s First Vice-President is a major step towards peace for the country, but numerous questions still remain to be answered. Machar himself has said he will return to Juba once his troops are in place to provide security, highlighting the fragile situation he would be returning to.
“In this preparation we have difficulties. The government has not committed to transfer our troops,” he recently said. “The international community has committed to a small portion of 400. We are still asking others to help transport these troops in the shortest possible time, so that I can be in Juba.”
UN urges Machar to return, form transitional government
The UN has urged Machar to return to South Sudan and take up his position as vice-president so he can form a transitional government, which is seen as vital to establishing peace in the country.
“The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) welcomes yesterday’s announcement by President Kiir of the appointment of Riek Machar as First Vice President of South Sudan,” a UN statement said.
“This is an important step in the formation of the Transitional Government and the implementation of the peace agreement.”
Meanwhile, Machar is travelling to various parts of Africa, seeking support to implement South Sudan’s peace agreement. His latest visit takes him to Pretoria, South Africa, a day after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo.