S Sudan Conflict: Ex-VP Machar «Has No Role» in Politics
South Sudan's sacked Vice-President Riek Machar no longer has a role to play as a political leader in the country, the presidency said.
President Salva Kiir's spokesman told the BBC Machar "has no space here", and should not return to the country before elections in 2018.
Machar, who had become vice president as part of a peace deal, fled the country following heavy fighting in the capital Juba in July.
But on Monday he vowed to return.
Speaking to the BBC from South Africa, Machar said his faction could still negotiate a peace deal with President Kiir.
In July, Machar's bodyguards and President Salva Kiir's presidential guards fought each other, sparking days of violence.
Hundreds of people died and more than 100,000 fled across the border.
The fighting erupted less than a year after a peace deal was signed to form a unity government and end the civil war.
On Tuesday, President Kiir's spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told the BBC that Machar "will look for his space as a citizen of South Sudan, but not as a political leader".
Referring to the elections planned for 2018, Wek said: "I don't think that he [Riek Machar] can even think to come [back] before that."
"It is better that Riek Machar stays away from South Sudan political scenes," the spokesman added.
Both President Kiir's and Riek Machar's followers had been accused of perpetrating atrocities during the country's bitter civil conflict.
More than 2.5 million people in South Sudan had been displaced since December 2013.
Source: BBC, Edited by website team