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It will be unwise for Riek Machar to return to gov’t – U.S Envoy

Riek Machar
Riek Machar
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The United States does not believe sacked South Sudan vice president Riek Machar should return to his former position in the unity government given the continued instability in the country, Reuters news agency reports Washington’s special envoy for South Sudan to say.

“Given all that has happened, we do not believe it would be wise for Machar to return to his previous position in Juba,” Special Envoy Donald Booth told a U.S. House of Representatives hearing.

“But this cannot become a justification for President Kiir to monopolize power and stifle dissenting political voices,” Booth testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Africa subcommittee.

The world’s youngest nation descended into war in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused Riek Machar, his then deputy, of plotting a coup against his government.

Machar refuted the claims but went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

Last year, the pair signed a shaky peace deal to end the war, with Machar returning to the capital in April 2016 to take up the position of first vice president.

In July, forces loyal to the two leaders clashed in Juba, with Machar leading his troops out of the capital.

Kiir then replaced him as vice president with Taban Deng Gai.

Machar was last reported to be in the Sudanese capital Khartoum receiving treatment reports