Middle East

South Sudan: Rebel leader returns to the capital

  • South Sudan's rebel leader and now Vice President Riek Machar, center-left, walks with President Salva Kiir, center-right, after being sworn in at the presidential palace in the capital Juba, South Sudan Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Machar returned to the capital Tuesday to become vice president and to try to end the civil war that in two and a half years has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than 2 million from their homes. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)

    South Sudan's rebel leader and now Vice President Riek Machar, center-left, walks with President Salva Kiir, center-right, after being sworn in at the presidential palace in the capital Juba, South Sudan Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Machar returned to the capital Tuesday to become vice president and to try to end the civil war that in two and a half years has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than 2 million from their homes. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)  (The Associated Press)

  • South Sudan's rebel leader and now Vice President Riek Machar addresses the media upon his return at the airport in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Machar returned to the capital Tuesday to become vice president and to try to end the civil war that in two and a half years has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than 2 million from their homes. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)

    South Sudan's rebel leader and now Vice President Riek Machar addresses the media upon his return at the airport in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Machar returned to the capital Tuesday to become vice president and to try to end the civil war that in two and a half years has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than 2 million from their homes. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)  (The Associated Press)

  • South Sudan's rebel leader and now Vice President Riek Machar, center, walks to be sworn in at the presidential palace in the capital Juba, South Sudan Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Machar returned to the capital Tuesday to become vice president and to try to end the civil war that in two and a half years has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than 2 million from their homes. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)

    South Sudan's rebel leader and now Vice President Riek Machar, center, walks to be sworn in at the presidential palace in the capital Juba, South Sudan Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Machar returned to the capital Tuesday to become vice president and to try to end the civil war that in two and a half years has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than 2 million from their homes. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)  (The Associated Press)

South Sudan's rebel leader has arrived in the capital, to join a government of national unity and establish peace in the war-ravaged country.

Riek Machar, who is to be inaugurated as the country's vice president under his rival President Salva Kiir, arrived in Juba Tuesday afternoon.

Many observers hope Machar's return, which follows a peace deal signed with Kiir last year, will herald peace in the world's newest country after more than two years of civil war.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, which started in December 2013 when the security forces in Juba appeared to splinter along ethnic lines. Machar later fled the country and became the leader of a violent rebellion.