Machar returns to Juba after two years

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar returned to the capital Juba for the first time in more than two years on Wednesday to take part in a peace ceremony.

Machar, who under the terms of a peace deal is to be reinstated as vice president, had not set foot in the city since he fled in July 2016 under a hail of gunfire when an earlier peace accord collapsed.

The rebel chief arrived at Juba airport at 9:30am (0630 GMT) and was welcomed by President Salva Kiir, Machar’s former ally turned bitter enemy.

The two are to join regional leaders at the ceremony later Wednesday to publicly welcome the most recent peace agreement, signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in September.

It was not immediately clear if Machar would remain in Juba after the ceremony, as his aides have expressed concerns over his safety in the city.

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