Riek Machar could come back to SA due to brokered ceasefire

All hopes were dashed when government forces and Sudanese rebels launched a joint attack hours after a “permanent” ceasefire agreement.

 South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his arch-foe Riek Machar in Addis Ababa for a working visit on 20 June 2018 ahead of talks. Picture: AFP

MAURITANIA - Former South Sudanese vice president Riek Machar could return to South Africa after a ceasefire between warring factions in that country was violated a third time.

The issue was discussed at a high-level meeting on the sidelines of the 31st African Union (AU) summit in Mauritania on Saturday.

It should have been a discussion about a peaceful way forward for South Sudan.

Instead, all hopes were dashed when government forces and Sudanese rebels launched a joint attack hours after a “permanent” ceasefire agreement, and on the eve of the AU heads of state summit in Nouakchott this weekend.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday led a meeting of concerned leaders in the region, but neither South Sudanese President Salva Kiir nor his former deputy and rival, Machar, were there.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said regional leaders have run out of patience, and might have Machar returned to South Africa where he has been forced to stay for the past two years.