Machar in South Africa for medical treatment: Spokesperson

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October 12, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese former First Vice President,
Riek Machar, who leads an armed opposition faction, the Sudan People’s
Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), has travelled to South Africa for
medical treatment, his official spokesperson has confirmed.

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)

Before to leave Khartoum this morning, Machar told reporters he is
heading to South Africa to for medical treatment, pointing that his
personal doctor is there.

Dak confirmed to Sudan Tribune that Machar arrived in South Africa on
Wednesday and not on Tuesday as reported on social media and by some
media outlets.

“Yes, Dr. Riek Machar has arrived in South Africa today (Wednesday).
He will be there to undergo further treatment for a number of days,”
James Gatdet Dak, opposition leader’s spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Dak said the opposition’s top leader will do further checkup on his
previously swollen leg as well as on his eye which had infection for
the past four years and had been going to South Africa in the past for
routine checkups.

He dismissed an allegation that Machar will be seeking political
asylum in South Africa, saying this was a false rumour.

“No, this is a false rumour. He has never asked for an asylum anywhere
in the world and there is no reason for him to do so. He will be back
to South Sudan as the chairman of the political party or Movement, the
SPLM (IO), and the commander-in-chief of the co-national army, the
SPLA (IO), in the country,” he said.

Earlier, there was an allegation that Kenyan president, Uhuru
Kenyatta, was in contact with the South African President, Jacob Zuma,
about the matter and that South Africa had agreed to grant Machar an
asylum in the country in order to stay away from South Sudanese

But Dak said that was not true, adding that even the South African
president was in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Tuesday and made it
clear that he wanted Machar back to Juba in accordance with the signed
peace agreement in August last year.

Dak also claimed that Machar remains the legitimate First Vice
President of South Sudan and whatever “illegal” actions that were
“decreed” by President Kiir to replace “Machar in the aftermath of the
8 July attempted assassination on his life by President Kiir’s forces
should be deemed null and void.”

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United
Nations (UN), he said, made it clear in their resolutions in August
this year that Machar should resume his position after deployment of
regional forces and demilitarization of Juba, in addition to other
security arrangements.

He said the peace agreement has collapsed as well as the transitional
government of national unity without the participation of the peace
partner, Machar, his party and army.

He warned that failure to revive the peace deal and the continuation
of the military offensive on their troops by forces loyal to President
Kiir, the opposition faction has the right to self-defence in form of
an armed resistance.

The opposition leader’s spokesman added that it was unfortunate the
region was watching the peace deal being dismantled by President Kiir
and said nothing or did nothing to stop him.


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