South Sudan Rebels Say United Nations Will Fly Machar to Juba

The United Nations will fly South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar to the capital, Juba, from neighboring Ethiopia on Tuesday, rebel spokesman William Gatjiath Deng said.

“The UN has accepted that he will be transported to Juba and we are now coordinating with him for the time he will be arriving, at least some time this afternoon,” Deng said by phone from Juba. United Nations Mission in South Sudan spokeswoman Arian Quentier said she could only comment when the plane carrying Machar lands.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Machar signed a peace deal in August under international pressure, agreeing to run a government of national unity and hold elections within 30 months. Fighting that erupted in December 2013 has killed tens of thousands of people, forced more than 2 million more to flee their homes and cut oil production by at least a third.

Machar’s scheduled April 18 return has been repeatedly delayed because of disagreements about the number of troops and the amount of weapons he can travel with to Juba.

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