The government of South Sudan is accused of repeated human rights violations, but its money buys lobbying and image buffing in DC.
The development is a necessary step in the reconciliation that may end two and a half years of war, but it comes amid a precarious, oft-broken ceasefire and a humanitarian disaster.
After nearly a week of false starts and confusion, the South Sudanese opposition leader arrived at Ethiopia’s Gambela airport on Saturday to fly to Juba, but more disagreement has prevented his journey from continuing.
Disagreements over how many weapons and people Machar can bring with him have repeatedly stalled his return to Juba after more than two years of civil war.
As the international community waits for the South Sudanese opposition leader to finally fly to Juba, VICE News traveled to his rural base in Pagak, South Sudan, to find out what will happen next.
Ethiopian media is reporting the military has located the scores of children abducted by South Sudanese gunmen during a cross-border cattle raid last week, and is in the process of rescuing them.
South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar was supposed to return to the capital Juba on Monday to be sworn in as vice president. Three days later his men are still stuck at an Ethiopian airport.
The attack took place on Friday with authorities saying gunmen from South Sudan attacked the area leaving more than 200 dead in the Horn of Africa nation's Gambela region.
Conflict has forced nearly 2 million children out of school in the world's newest country. Recent violence at a UN-run displacement camp has put a renewed spotlight on security risks.
Relations between the two East African countries have been weak since South Sudan seceded in 2011, but the border opening is just the latest step towards improved ties.