SPLM-IO refutes reports of Machar’s refuge in South Africa

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September 19, 2016 (JUBA) – The armed opposition faction of SPLM-IO led by
former First Vice President, Riek Machar, said allegations that their
leader would be sent to South Africa as a refugee is not true.
[image: JPEG - 53.4 kb]*South African President Jacob Zuma meets South
Sudan’s First Vice President, Riek Machar in Pretoria on 18 February 2016
(ST Photo)*

On Sunday, the *Daily Nation* newspaper in Nairobi, Kenya, quoted
spokesperson for President Uhuru Kenyatta as claiming that South Africa has
“agreed” to host the former South Sudanese first vice president and leader
of the armed opposition faction.

Kenya’s State House communications chief, Manoah Esipisu, told a local
newspaper that President Uhuru Kenyatta had to cancel a pre-arranged trip
to the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York in order to
“attend to the fast-moving situation in Somalia and South Sudan.”

Esipisu told *Daily Nation*, a Kenya independent newspaper, that South
Africa has expressed readiness to host Machar as a refugee in the country.

“Following the IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] meeting in
Mogadishu, Somalia, last week, there are a series of follow-up sessions
that His Excellency [President Kenyatta] needs to personally attend to,
given that Kenya is a senior player in the region alongside Ethiopia,” said
Esipisu on Monday.

Describing persuasion for Machar to be given to the care of South Africa as
a “delicate issue,” Esipisu said President Kenyatta’s involvement is
essential to realize peace in South Sudan.

“Currently he [Machar] is holed up in Khartoum but there are ongoing
deliberations, and very delicate ones for that matter, on where he should
be eventually resettled,” said the spokesperson of the Kenyan president.

"South Africa has agreed to take him in but there is a feeling that other
options be looked into. That is why it was felt that His Excellency’s
[Kenyatta’s] involvement in these matters is very essential,” he said
without elaborating.

He said President Kenyatta had to delegate his deputy, William Ruto, to
represent him in the UN General Assembly meeting in New York so that he had
time to focus on the matter at home.

"That is why it was decided that the Deputy President [William Ruto]
represents him [President Kenyatta] in New York,” he said, when asked why
the Kenyan leader skipped the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

However, Machar’s spokesperson dismissed the allegation as untrue.

“No, we are not aware of this suggestion. Our leader, Dr. Riek Machar, is
not aware of such suggestion to make him a refugee. And why would he be
made a refugee when he is the Chairman of the SPLM (IO) party and the
Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA (IO) army in South Sudan? He has an active
role to play in the country in order to restore peace and stability as well
as take the country to prosperity,” said James Gatdet Dak, spokesman for
the opposition leader.

Machar fled Juba for his life in July when fighting erupted between his
bodyguards and thousands of soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir.

He crossed into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 17 August and was
airlifted by UN Mission in that country before continuing his journey to
Khartoum, Sudan “on humanitarian ground” where he got medication
assistance. His spokesman said he has been discharged from hospital weeks
ago but has not made a public statement.

The SPLM-IO group that appointed Taban Deng Gai as Machar’s replacement
wanted the former vice president to stay away from Juba till elections in
2018 but Machar’s supporters dismissed Gai’s rise to power as illegal.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

   - 19 September 22:29, by choldit

   The spokesperson for president Uhuru has been reached by Taban - Kiir
   guys with valueless dollars to spread the lay so that the SPLM-io meeting
   result will be distorted by such lays. What reason can Dr Machar left the
   SPLM io for ? The all things is a lay

   repondre message
   - 20 September 02:51, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

   At the end of the day the problem of South Sudan will be solved by
   themselves alone and not suckers of our economy. Kiir must go in order for
   peace to come and rest in South Sudan. Kiir has failed us. He has brought
   back Jallaba type of rains of bombs to our mothers, sisters, and our
   elders. Under Kiir we are seeing rape, smell our blood, see death daily a
   thing Jallaba did in a small scale.

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