Formation of South Sudan unity government suspended as Machar stays aways

The formation of a unity government in South Sudan has been suspended, until opposition leader Riek Machar returns to Juba.

It’s a U-turn move from last week, when President Salva Kiir said he would form a partial unity government, if the opposition leader and now first vice president Riek Machar failed to return to the South Sudanese capital.

President Salva Kiir had given Machar until early Friday morning to take up his position as part of a peace accord the two signed to end months of civil war.

But Machar said he would return to Juba only after the city was demilitarized, as stipulated in the agreement.

Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Kiir could wait to name a new transitional unity government in the interest of peace.

Kiir “might give further time for Dr. Machar to come to Juba in order for the government of national unity to be complete,” Ateny said. “This is what the people of South Sudan want. …

“It still remains the prerogative of the president to see the next cause of action, and he is the one to pave the way forward. So it is up to him, whether he will dissolve the [current] government and form a government or he still gives more time for Dr. Riek Machar to come.”

CCTV’S Patrick Oyet reports.