South Sudan

Machar snubs Kiir 48-hour ultimatum

S Sudan's FVP designate Riek Machar, arrives in his General Headquarters, Pagak.

Riek Machar, arrives in his General Headquarters, Pagak.

South Sudan first vice president Dr. Riek Machar will only return to Juba once a third party force is deployed, says his spokesperson.

Kiir gave an ultimatum to the leader of the opposition movement SPLM-IO Riek Machar 48 hours to return to the country’s capital Juba and work on implementing the peace agreement they signed.

Machar has not been seen since he left Juba after days of fierce fighting that claimed the lives of hundreds of people and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Many of Machar’s bodyguards were killed in the violence, which is one of the reasons he has declined to return.

In a statement issued by the office of the president, Kiir reiterated his is keenness to return to the implementation of the peace plan.

”I am appealing to Dr Riek Machar to return back to Juba so that we can continue with the implementation of the peace agreement which needs the two of us to implement,” Kiir said in a statement.

He said he pledged his full commitment to ensuring Machar’s security while in Juba, following the intense fighting that erupted between rival troops just as the two leaders were meeting on 8 July.

James Gatdet Dak said President Salva Kiir’s 48 hours ultimatum “is unnecessary”.

According to Dak, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) supports the proposed deployment of a third force in the national capital, Juba.

“The unbelievable lawlessness which exploded at the very palace (J1) of President Salva Kiir on Friday, July 8, 2016, has clearly indicated that either he lost control of his army commanders and forces or he is himself a suspect in the mess.”

He says in order to restore peace, security and civility to the capital, to protect civilians and the country’s leadership including President Kiir himself, there is need for deployment of additional foreign troops with a stronger mandate under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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