Rebel leader Machar back in S. Sudan

Apr 13, 2016, 5:44 AM EDT
Vice President Riek Machar
(Source: Utenriksdepartementet UD/flickr)

Following a two-year long exile, South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar returned to his country as part of a peace deal signed with President Salva Kiir in August 2015. Machar is scheduled to arrive in capital Juba where he will take charge as vice president in a unity government, thus putting an end to the deadly civil conflict that broke out in 2013, after President Salva Kiir accused him of plotting a coup.

The BBC writes:

The peace agreements between the two sides have fallen apart several times with violations from both the parties, thus worsening the conflict that has left thousands of people dead and over two million displaced. Amid an atmosphere of mistrust, stringent security measures have been taken to ensure Machar’s security. Over 1,300 rebel troops have been flown in Juba in accordance with phase one of transitional security arrangement plans.  

U.S. News reports:

16 members of the rebel’s publicity team were arrested and “severely beaten” by South Sudan’s security officials. The U.S. State Department issued a statement criticizing government troops’ fresh offensive against rebels saying, “There is no military solution to the conflicts in South Sudan.”

South Sudan’s military spokesman Lul Ruai denied of having any official notification regarding a hostile engagement with rebels.