South Sudan opposition leader returns to meet with president

South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar, center, as he returns to the country, in Juba, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, to meet with President Salva Kiir less than a month before their deadline to form a unity government after a five-year civil war. (AP/Sam Mednick)
Updated 19 October 2019

South Sudan opposition leader returns to meet with president

  • Riek Machar last met face-to-face with President Salva Kiir in September, when they discussed outstanding issues in a fragile peace deal
  • The civil war killed almost 400,000 people and displaced millions

JUBA, South Sudan: South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar returned to the country Saturday to meet with President Salva Kiir less than a month before their deadline to form a unity government after a five-year civil war.
Machar last met face-to-face with Kiir in September, when they discussed outstanding issues in a fragile peace deal. His two-day visit includes a meeting with the US ambassador to the United Nations, who arrives Sunday with a UN Security Council delegation.
The delegation is expected to encourage progress in the peace deal signed a year ago but fraught with delays.
Both Kiir and Machar will meet with the delegation Sunday, government spokesman Michael Makuei said.
The opposition has said Machar won’t return to South Sudan for good to form the government by the Nov. 12 deadline unless security arrangements are in place.
The US has said it will reevaluate its relationship with South Sudan if that deadline is missed.
The civil war killed almost 400,000 people and displaced millions.
Before Machar’s return a unified army of 41,500 opposition and government soldiers needs to be ready along with a 3,000-person VIP protection force.
But so far there are only 1,000 unified soldiers and security arrangements won’t meet the deadline, deputy opposition spokesman Manawa Peter Gatkuoth said.
The previous Machar-Kiir meeting focused on speeding up the screening and reunification of forces, but parties left the talks with differing views.
Deputy chairman for the opposition Henry Odwar called the meeting “lukewarm,” while Makuei called it “highly successful” and said everything was on track for next month’s deadline.


Danish sub killer arrested after failed prison escape

Updated 37 min 46 sec ago

Danish sub killer arrested after failed prison escape

  • Danish tabloid BT reported Madsen had taken a hostage and threatened prison staff with a pistol-like object to force his way out of the facility
  • Madsen was convicted in April 2018 of murdering the 30-year-old journalist Kim Wall as she interviewed him on board his submarine

COPENHAGEN: The Danish man sentenced to life in jail for the murder of journalist Kim Wall aboard his homemade submarine was arrested on Tuesday after a failed prison escape bid led to a standoff with police.
“Peter Madsen tried to escape,” a Copenhagen police official told AFP.
Police confirmed on Twitter that Madsen had been “arrested and removed from the scene” after being surrounded by police officers, with unconfirmed reports he had threatened them with an explosive device.
Danish tabloid BT reported Madsen had taken a hostage and threatened prison staff with a pistol-like object to force his way out of the facility.
It quoted witnesses who said he managed to drive away in a white van before police stopped him.
Photos from the scene showed Madsen sitting on the grass by a leafy wall next to a road a few hundreds meters (yards) from the prison, with two police officers lying prone on the ground pointing their weapons at him.
Madsen, a 49-year-old submarine enthusiast, was convicted in April 2018 of murdering the 30-year-old journalist Kim Wall as she interviewed him on board his submarine in August 2017.
In a documentary that aired in September, he confessed for the first time to the killing, after having insisted during the trial that her death was an accident.
“There is only one who is guilty, and that is me,” Madsen said in the documentary.
In a case that made headlines around the world, Madsen had however admitted to the court that he chopped up her corpse and threw her body parts into the sea.