South Sudan Government Approves Dr. Machar’s Relocation

Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar Teny(Photo: file)
Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar Teny(Photo: file)

Juba -The Transitional government of South Sudan has approved a report on the regional bloc’s decision to relocate the exiled rebel leader Riek Machar from his house arrest in South Africa apartment to a third country outside the region.

This decision was made on Friday, last week in the weekly council of ministers meeting in Juba, chaired by the South Sudanese president Salva Kiir

The IGAD’s communiqué issued following its 61st Extra-Ordinary Session held last month in Addis Ababa, said it would release Machar if he would accept to renounce violence, not obstruct peace and relocate to any country outside the region not neighboring war-torn South Sudan.

The regional body will soon suggest a country in implementation of the planned relocation.

South Sudanese Minister of Information, who is also government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth said the cabinets has adopted the report and approve a relocation of former vice president Dr. Machar, who turned rebel in late 2013.

“The report was good and it was adopted and passed,” said Minister Makuei told the press.

He further said the Council of Ministers of the regional bloc, Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), had decided to send a ministerial delegation to South Africa to discuss with South Sudan’s rebel chief to renounce violence before his relocation to another country.

Minister Makuei had said the prominent opposition leader will be relocated and allowed to take part in the peace process when he accepts to renounce violence.

But however, South Sudanese rebels have recently warned the region that they will never accept their leader relocates to another country after his release from house arrest in South Africa apartment where he is currently confined.  They claimed their group has already signed the cessation of hostilities agreement with the government that shows group’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Can Machar and Kiir work together again?

Dr. Machar, turned rebel in late 2013, after power struggling within the ruling party with his boss, president Kiir, split to civil war, which is in its fifth year now, killed tens thousands of people and has displaced 2.3 million people from their homes.

Dr Machar returned to Juba in April 2016 and formed a transitional government with President Salva Kiir and other groups according to 2015 peace agreement.

However, fresh fighting broke out in Juba in July 2016 and Dr Machar had to flee to the Democratic Republic of Congo, from where he was airlifted to Khartoum.

He then moved to Ethiopia until Kiir, working with IGAD negotiated a house arrest with the South African government.

The third round of peace revitalization forum is due to resume on late April, this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, something regional blocs’ described as last chance for South Sudanese factions to end confrontation to return stability and peace.

Of recently, President Kiir has called the SPLM reunification process meeting in Juba on the nineteen of April, 2018.

President Kiir government made it clear that Machar can only run for president at the end constitutional process, insisting that he would sabotage the peace process if allowed to participate.

 Something, opposition groups say they are upset by the government demand to exclude Machar from the SPLM reunification process, peace revitalization forum, and the national transitional government.

Machar, who has long dominated South Sudanese politics, though he was rebelled against former SPLM leader Dr. John Garang De Mabior, was an instrumental figure in South Sudan’s fight for independence from Sudan, and has served as vice president twice in the very short history of the world’s newest nation.

South Sudan became independent in 2011 from Khartoum regime in the referendum process signed in Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.

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