The South Sudan rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar has returned from Vatican, Italy to the troubled Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
Machar landed in Khartoum on Wednesday morning according to a brief statement made by the armed opposition’s group.
“The SPLM/A (IO) wishes to inform members and the general public that the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/A (IO), H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon and his accompanying delegation have arrived safely in Khartoum, Sudan this morning at about 3:00 am, after attending the spiritual retreat hosted by His Holiness Pope Francis in Vatican, Rome,” said part of the statement.
The rebel leader, who is expected to resume his position of First Vice President in accordance with the signed Revitalized Agreement on the Solution of Conflict in South Sudan, praised the organizers of the Vatican retreat.
“In this connection, H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon wishes to express his profound gratitude and appreciation to the Holy See for inviting the leaders of South Sudan to attend the spiritual retreat aimed at confidence-building and pushing forward the peace process in South Sudan,” added the statement.
Machar is reportedly confident about the outcome of the retreat in fostering peace in South Sudan which engulfed in civil war in December 2013.
“Moreover, he would like to stress to members, the people of South Sudan and the public at large that the significant experience gained from the spiritual retreat, has provided a powerful impetus for the leaders of South Sudan who were present at the retreat, to implement the Revitalized Peace Agreement (R-ARCSS) in letter and spirit.”
Pope Francis kissed the feet of Machar, President Salva Kiir and other South Sudanese leaders and appealed to them to honor the revitalized peace agreement signed last year.