South Sudan agrees to Machar's return with 195 troops

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 21, 2016
Adjust font size:

The South Sudan government on Wednesday cleared three flights of rebel leader Riek Machar, who is returning to Juba to join a transitional unity government.

"We have accepted as a government that Machar should come with the 195 forces accompanying him and his chief of staff," Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Bashir Gbandi told journalists in Juba.

Machar's return to Juba to form the transitional unity government with President Salva Kiir was called off twice this week due to his new demands of extra heavy weaponry and forces.

Machar who was due to be sworn-in immediately after his arrival also demanded his Sudan People's Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) Chief of General Staff Simon Gatwech Dual who is indicted by the U.S. and UN arrives ahead of him in Juba to take up command of his already arrived 1,370 soldiers and police protection troops in Juba.

"We have given him clearance also for all the planes that are coming, the three planes which are hired and in fact he (Machar) was contacted by the U.S. ambassador that they will not be able to make today but we hope they will complete the arrangements," Gbandi said.

The signed August peace deal to end more than two years of civil war returns Machar as deputy and leaves Kiir as President.

Gbandi commended countries under the Troika umbrella group that includes U.S, Britain, Norway and China for helping avail funds to support the peace process.

The government through its spokesman Michael Makuei on Tuesday objected to Machar coming with extra troops saying it violates the agreement and instead was willing to accept only 40 rebel soldiers to accompany Machar.

Gbandi said the reception arrangements for the First-Vice President designate remains unchanged and the government is not obstructing his return.

Fighting erupted in the world's youngest oil-rich nation, two years after gaining independence from Sudan in 2011, when President Salva Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup, an allegation the rebel leader has denied.

Since then, tens of thousands of people have lost their lives in the conflict, which also uprooted over 2 million people from their homes and destroyed properties and livelihood. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from