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JUBA - 7 Feb 2019

Opposition leader Lam Akol returns to Juba

South Sudan opposition leader Lam Akol Ajawin returned to the capital Juba for the second time in more than three months on Thursday.

Akol, who leads the opposition group National Democratic Movement (NDM), signed the revitalized peace accord which aims to end the civil war that erupted in December 2013.

The prominent opposition official was welcomed at Juba’s airport by President Kiir’s adviser for security affairs, Tut Gatluak.

 “I am very happy to be here for the second time. The reason why I am here is that I was invited by IGAD to be part of a national peace campaign undertaken by South Sudan women,” Akol told reporters.

“I take this opportunity to thank IGAD for having invited me to be part of this event. I also thank the government for having facilitated my coming,” he added.

The South Sudanese politician said the deal has encountered delays on several issues. However, he expressed hopes that the parties will speed up the implementation of the pre-transitional period.

“While I am here, I will definitely hope to pay a courtesy visit to H.E the president if his time allows. I am also going to hold meetings with many stakeholders, our partners in the peace agreement, “he said.

It was not immediately clear how long Akol would remain in the capital Juba.

Akol, a former agriculture minister, returned to Juba for the first time in more than two years in October 2018 and attended a peace ceremony hosted by President Salva Kiir.