Ban welcomes South Sudan Government’s decision to accept proposal on return of Riek Machar


Welcoming the decision of the Government of South Sudan to accept the compromise proposal on the arrangements for the return of First Vice President-designate Riek Machar to the country, United Nations Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon today expressed the hope the deal would enable the swift formation of the transitional unity government.

According to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the compromise was developed through the efforts of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JMEC) along with regional and international partners.

“The Secretary-General is hopeful that this will enable the swift formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity, and the full implementation of the country’s peace agreement,” said the statement, adding that maintaining a spirit of cooperation will be crucial as the country’s leaders begin the work of reversing the years of destruction this conflict has brought upon the people of South Sudan.

The statement said that Mr. Ban now calls on Mr. Machar to return to the capital, Juba, without delay and without further conditions which could jeopardize the fragile peace process and prolong the suffering of the South Sudanese people.

The UN chief in his statement commended the efforts of JMEC Chairperson, former President Festus Mogae [Botswana] and of the African Union High Representative, former President Alpha Konare [Malia], to resolve the impasse.

“He urges all regional and international partners to support actively the continued implementation of the peace agreement,” the statement concludes.

The Secretary-General emphasized the importance of quickly establishing the Transitional Government of National Unity, which was agreed to as part of a peace agreement signed in August of last year by both South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Mr. Machar.