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