South Sudan rebel leader return postponed

Riek MacharImage copyright

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Riek Machar was expected to take up his post as vice-president in a new unity government led by President Salva Kiir

The expected return of South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar to the capital, Juba, has been postponed for logistical reasons, a spokesman said.

He was due to take up the post of first vice-president, a key part of the peace process aimed at ending more than two years of civil war.

Mr Machar fled Juba at the start of the conflict in December 2013.

More than two million people have been displaced and tens of thousands killed in the fighting.

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Rebel spokesman William Ezekiel told journalists waiting for Mr Machar at Juba’s airport that the trip had been postponed until Tuesday.

He said that the rebels were still committed to the peace process.

South Sudan: The world’s youngest country

  • Split from Sudan in July 2011 after an independence referendum
  • One of Africa’s least-developed economies. Highly oil-dependent
  • Relations with Sudan strained by disputes over oil revenue sharing and borders
  • Power struggle led to civil war in December 2013
  • An estimated 2.2 million fled their homes during conflict
  • A tentative, internationally mediated, peace agreement signed in August 2015

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