Machar not ready to return to Juba in May – opposition official

Machar arrives in Juba for peace dissemination in October 2018 (Nyamilepedia)

April 1st 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s former First Vice President, and leader of the main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, Dr. Riek Machar, is reportedly not ready to return to Juba in May as part of a peace agreement signed six months ago.

President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and the opposition leader signed the deal on September 12th in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa following months of tough negotiations in the Sudanese capital Khartoum by their delegations who only had an August 5th dateline to reach a preliminary deal.

The agreement, also know as the Revitalized ARCSS, set forth a 8-months pre-transitional period within which security arrangements and relevant preparations for the would-be transitional government. The pre-transitional period ends exactly on April 12th 2019 and the unity government is supposed to be in place by that date according to the agreement.

Speaking to the Nyamilepedia on Sunday evening, a senior opposition official who maintained the condition of anonymity said Machar is not ready to go to Juba because most measures supposedly for confidence building have not been undertaken by the government.

“Most of the confidence-building measures have not been taken. The government – I think – is not ready to fully implement the agreement as of now. Most of the activities of the pre-transitional period have not been done,” he said.

“The detainees have not been released. Unified army has not been constituted and I think this is enough for Machar to say he will not go to Juba for the formation of the revitalized transitional government of national unity,” he added.

The official who also confirmed that Machar is under detention in the Sudanese capital Khartoum further urged the region and the international community to compel the government to live up to its promises which it made by signing the revitalized peace agreement.