South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar failed to appear in Juba again for the second time, on Tuesday.
While speaking to journalists who had been staking out Juba’s airport since early Monday, rebel spokesperson William Ezekiel said that unspecified “issues relating to logistics,” were to blame for the latest delay.
"He is going to come. But when? We will update you
“He is going to come. But when? We will update you,” he added. Without giving a clear indication as to when Machar will arrive
Machar’s return to the country and subsequent swearing as vice president is viewed as a critical step towards implementing a floundering peace deal that was signed in August 2015.
The agreement has failed to end South Sudan’s civil war stemming from power tussles between Machar and President Salva Kiir.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands forcing millions from their homes and has split South Sudan along ethnic lines.
The rebel leader is believed to be either in his tribal stronghold of Pagak in the east of the country or in Gambella, Ethiopia.
A number of rebel officials have offered different explanations for the delays with some citing difficulties in getting Machar’s bodyguards and weapons across the border while others blamed poor weather.
South Sudan govt Says Machar chief of staff blocked coz he wants to fly in with extra soldiers and an Arsenal including missiles and tanks— FERDINAND OMONDI (@FerdyOmondi) April 19, 2016
Other sources suggested the presence of Machar’s UN and US sanctioned chief of staff, Simon Gatwech Dual, in the rebel travelling party, was the reason behind the delay.