Explainer: Why South Sudan’s Peace Deal May be at Risk

Riek Machar
Riek Machar Photo/VOA News

By Jason Patinkin

The failure of South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar to return Tuesday to Juba, the second delay this week, is putting a peace deal at risk, according to international monitors.

Machar was expected to arrive in the capital to form a transitional government with President Salva Kiir, following two and a half years of war. But last-minute disputes over the number of troops and weapons the rebels can bring into the capital delayed his return.

The government says it will allow Machar’s top general into Juba with 195 troops, a number the rebels accepted.

But the government says they can only bring rifles, while the rebels want to bring rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns.

The international body overseeing the peace process has called an emergency meeting Thursday between government and rebel officials in hopes of resolving the situation.

2.5 million Sudanese have been displaced since 2013. 

Jason Patinkin is a Contributor to VOA News