South Sudan

Juba clears Machar to land on Monday


South Sudan first vice president Riek Machar Riek missed an international deadline to return to Juba on Saturday.

The Minister of Information Michael Makuei had earlier said government would clear Machar to arrive by plane from Ethiopia only after international monitors have verified the number of weapons carried by the rebels accompanying him.

The rebels, who were at Gambella airport in Ethiopia, said they were ready to fly but needed permission to do so.

On Saturday, Machar appeared at an airport in Ethiopia ready to return home but said the government in Juba failed to grant him clearance to fly.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged Machar to return to Juba “without delay”, while the US, Britain and Norway – key international backers of peace efforts – demanded the return by Saturday.

Machar was due to return to the capital Juba on April 18 to take up the post of first vice president alongside President Salva Kiir.

His failure to arrive has thrown an August 2015 peace agreement to end over two years of intense civil war into jeopardy.

Juba clears him

The regime in Juba later issued a statement clearing Machar only to land on Monday, April 25, 2016.

The director of Juba international airport in a response to a request made to the Internal Security Bureau said Machar had been granted permission to land.

He said Machar would be allowed to land on Monday because the airport was under maintenance over the weekend.

“Accept assurances of my highest regards,” wrote Lt Gen Akol Koor Kuo.


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