South Sudan’s opposition leader Riek Machar is set to return to the capital later this month.
Machar is returning to Juba to take up the position of Vice President in the newly created transitional government that will last for three years.
According to a letter written to former president of Botswana and head of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, Festus Mogae, Machar said he will be travelling to South Sudan’s capital Juba on April 18th.
In the letter, the opposition leader highlighted he will not travel at an earlier date that was suggested by Mogae saying that it would not be ‘workable’ as his team has programmed his arrival to Juba for the 18th.
Mogae had requested for Machar to arrive in the country on the 12th, two days before inauguration of the transitional government of national unity.
Machar who was sacked by President Salva Kiir in 2013 said he will form the unity government with Kiir after he arrives in Juba.
According to reports, Kiir’s spokesman said that Machar’s return was a significant steps towards the implementation of a peace deal. The peace deal was signed last year in August by Kiir and Machar. Nevertheless, the deal has broken down several times with both factions pointing fingers at each other.
Meanwhile, armed rebels have already moved into the capital as part of the process to ensure the city is secure ahead of Machar’s return
Political conflict broke out in December 2013 between forces loyal to President Kiir and rebel soldiers aligned with Machar. This resulted to the deaths of thousands and displacements of more than 2 million people.