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KHARTOUM - 16 Jul 2019

Machar sets conditions for his return to Juba

South Sudan's exiled opposition leader Riek Machar listed specific conditions to meet President Salva Kiir in Juba.

This came after the government invited Machar to meet with Kiir to discuss the peace process.

In a letter dated July 8 and sent to President Kiir's security adviser, Tut Gatluak, Machar said he is ready to talk with the president to discuss the challenges of implementing the revitalised peace deal if certain assurances were made.

The transitional government of national unity was supposed to be formed in May but was delayed until November, and the implementation process is facing multiple delays.

Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, deputy spokesman for Machar’s SPLM-IO, told Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday that their leader said the terms of his house arrest must be lifted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional grouping.

“If Machar’s house arrest is lifted by the regional bloc, he will go to Juba to meet Kiir,” said Manawa.

Among the demands, Manawa said, Machar asked Kiir to allow Sudan’s military leader to accompany him to Juba.

“Machar called on President Kiir to send a letter to the leadership of the host country to take him to Juba if the regional bloc fails to lift his house arrest,” he explained.

Machar, who under the terms of the peace deal is to be reinstated as first vice president, resides in neighboring Sudan but cannot travel to the other IGAD countries.

He fled into exile in 2016 after heavy clashes in Juba.