South Sudan’s president gives vice president 48 hours to return

South Sudan, President Salva Kiir
South Sudan, President Salva Kiir [Photo: ChimpReports]

South Sudan president, Salva Kiir, has called on the vice president, Riek Machar, to return to Juba to re-establish a peace agreement signed in August.

In a statement by his spokesman, Ateny Wek-Ateny, on Friday in Juba, the president asked Machar to make contact with him in the next 48 hours.

“I will be expecting a response from your good self within 48 hours.

“I am appealing for your return while reiterating my 100 per cent commitment to ensuring your protection and overall security,’’ he said.

He said the move was part of effort to salvage a peace agreement that was jeopardised by fighting earlier this month between forces loyal to the two long-time rivals.

The statement did not say what would happen if Machar failed to return or make contact.

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The statement said the vice president returned to Juba in April to take up the position of first vice president, a move that was part of the peace agreement.

Meanwhile, James Gatdet’Dak, Machar’s Spokesman, has described Kiir’s 48 hours ultimatum as unreasonable.

“First of all, President Kiir should be talking of how to restore peace and security to Juba.

“This can be done with the expected deployment of a third- party force,” he said.

Forces loyal to the two men fought street battles in Juba over a five-day period earlier this month, until a ceasefire was reached on July 11.

The fighting killed at least 272 people.

Machar then left Juba with his troops, although he said he was not preparing for a resumption of the fighting that convulsed South Sudan from December, 2013 and ended early this year.

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(Reuters/NAN)

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