Kiir thought Vatican meeting would convince Machar to return to Juba without proper arrangements – official

South Sudan President, Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

April 25th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, thought opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar would return to Juba even if security arrangements are not completed, a senior opposition official told the Nyamilepedia on Thursday.

Kiir and Machar in mid April travelled to the Vatican for a ‘spiritual retreat’ called upon by head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis.

The meeting was meant to build confidence between the two rivals whose struggle for SPLM leadership led to the ongoing civil war in December 2013.

Speaking to the Nyamilepedia on Thursday,  a senior opposition official said from Khartoum that Kiir “must be” surprised because he thought Machar would return to Juba following the retreat.

“Kiir must be surprised that the [SPLM-IO] Chairman (Machar) did not return to Juba up to now,” the opposition offial who asked not to be named said.

“I am saying this because Kiir thought the Vatican meeting would solve all the trust issues between him and Dr. Machar and that’s why I believe he must be surprised why until now Machar had not shown up,” the opposition official added.

Last week, Kiir invites Machar to return to Juba to prepare for the formation of the unity government provided for in the revitalized agreement signed by the two in September last year.

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