– Machar was the South Sudanese vice president from the birth of the nation in 2011 until July 2013, when President Salva Kiir fired him together with other members of the Cabinet
– The young nation shortly after plunged into violence that has reduced greatly since the August 2015 peace deal that Uhuru and other IGAD members assisted broker
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday evening March 24 bid South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar farewell when the two met in State House.
Machar, who was South Sudan’s Vice President and has been re-appointed to the post, will be returning to his home country after the August 2015 signing of a peace deal with President Salva Kiir.
“I will return home imminently to take up the responsibility of helping grow and rebuild our country,” the vice president told President Uhuru, according to a statement from State House.
Uhuru expressed his backing for Machar’s decision, and reaffirmed Kenya’s support to South Sudan to attain peace fully.
“As a neighbor and friend of South Sudan, count on my support in the restoration of peace in your country,” the Kenyan president said.
Machar thanked President Uhuru and other Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) members who participate in talks to see that the peace deal is brokered.
“We remain indebted to you,” the south Sudanese VP said.
Machar was the South Sudanese vice president from independence in 2011 till July 2013, when South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir sacked him together with the rest of the Cabinet.
The political differences erupted into ethnic conflict and violence in December 2013, and has never completely ended.
After the August 2015 peace accord, President Kiir reappointed Machar as the vice president.
In an interview with VOA in February 2016, Machar said he was yet to speak to Kiir about the peace deal they signed, but that he would consult with colleagues and stakeholders upon his return to Juba, South Sudan, before discussing the agreement with Kiir.