The month of April appears to bear some bad mystical omens especially for Riek Machar, and his supporters and religious leaders of the prophet Nyundeng – a tribal prophet – appear to strongly suggest that the designated Vice President of the World’s Newest Nation must delay his return for a few more weeks and return to Juba in May.

Riek Machar, the leader of the SPLM-IO (In-Opposition), the rebel movement that has been fighting the SPLM-IG (In-Government) for the past two years, is set to return to Juba – the capital – in accordance with the terms of the Compromise Peace Agreement (CPA). Upon his arrival, a transitional government of national (TGoNU) is set to be formed where he is expected to also be sworn in as Vice President.

20 years ago on 10 April 1996, Riek Machar signed a peace agreement with Sudanese President Al Bashir that later became to be known as the April Fools agreement. As per that agreement, he was promised (but never given) self-determination for the people of South Sudan. Instead, he was systematically engineered into a proxy and a tool to fight against his fellow SPLA/M then led by the visionary late Dr. Garang. He (Riek Machar) later saw the light and re-rebelled without his a fraction of his army and territory and was received back by the movement.

According to his supporters (who claim to have of evidence of all the bad omens that haunt the man in the month of April), anything he does in this month will amount to nothing and that includes the formation of the Transition Government of National Unity (TGoNU) that he is expected to form, together with the other peace partners, in around two days after his return.

International pressure is already on Riek to return, but this recent development – with Riek’s support base being strong followers of the traditional/religious leader, is bound to further murk the waters.

As always, Saakam shall keep you updated.