South Sudan - South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar returned on Monday to meet with President Salva Kiir and held talks in preparation for the formation of a coalition government in November.
The two men shook hands and said goodnight after an afternoon of discussions at State House, the president's official residence, in their first face-to-face meeting in the capital, Juba, since October. The talks focused on speeding up the screening and reunification of forces in order to create a united national army ahead of Machar's expected return in two months, where he'll once again serve as Kiir's deputy.
South Sudan is slowly emerging from five years of civil war that killed almost 400,000 people and displaced millions. A fragile peace deal was signed last September, but so far it's been marked by delays and continued fighting in parts of the country.
Machar's trip to Juba is seen by some South Sudan observers as a last attempt to move the agreement forward.
"This is crunch time for South Sudan's peace deal. Either the two main leaders find a way to make the peace deal work, or South Sudan will slip back into crisis," Alan Boswell, senior analyst with the International Crisis Group told The Associated Press. The technical process has gone as far as it can without resolving the outstanding political deadlocks, which only the two leaders can agree upon, he said.