South Sudan: President urges rebel leader to return, implement peace deal

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir has called upon rebel leader Riek Machar to the country and implement a peace deal signed last year.

The president’s statement comes after Riek Machar last week suggested that the formation of a unity government should be postponed for six months. However, Kiir appears to have rebuffed the idea by publicly calling upon his former rival to return to Juba and commence work on South Sudan’s stuttering peace process.

Kiir calls upon Machar to return to Juba

President Kiir and rebel leader Machar signed a peace deal last year, bringing an end to South Sudan’s civil war that started in December 2013. The agreement followed multiple failed peace deals and scepticism over the ability – or even willingness – of South Sudan’s leaders to deliver peace remains.

Last week, Kiir and Machar travelled to the Vatican for a two-day trip that concluded with the Pope kissing the feet of both leaders.

South Sudan is due to set up a unity government next month, which would be tasked with guiding the country into the next phase of its peace agreement. However, Salva Kiir wants to postpone this process for a minimum of six months, citing security concerns as a key issue.

Featured image: By Al Jazeera English – Kiir awaits, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17499385

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.