South Sudan rebel forces arrive in Juba ahead of Machar return

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South Sudanese rebel forces have completed their return to the capital, Juba, as part of the implementation of a peace deal signed to end the two and a half year civil war, AFP reports.

The 1,370-strong force of soldiers and police were brought to Juba on UN and chartered airplanes “as required by phase one of the transitional security arrangements plan”, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) said.

The forces are expected to ensure security for rebel leader Riek Machar, named as vice president in the transitional government, who is due to arrive in Juba next week.

South Sudan descended into war in 2014 when President Salva Kiir accused his then deputy, Riek Machar of plotting a coup against his government, allegations that Machar denies.

The fighting has forced more than 2.2 million people from their homes in the world’s youngest state since December 2013.

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