Opposition leader Riek Machar leaves South Sudan for Kinshasa: NEW DEVELOPMENTS

By Fred Oluoch, THE EASTAFRICAN, Posted Thursday, August 18;

IN SUMMARY:

Water and Irrigation Minister, Mabior Garang de Mabior told The EastAfrican that Dr Machar arrived in Kinshasa on Monday in transit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he will be waiting for countries in the region to intervene in the Juba crisis.

The whereabouts of Dr Machar had been a matter of speculation since he left Juba on July 11 when fighting broke out.

Meanwhile, President Kiir has also called for early elections before the end of the life of the transitional government contrary to the agreement.

South Sudan’s former vice president and opposition leader Riek Machar has left the country after a nearly month-long stay in the bushes in Western Equatoria where he had fled following fierce fighting with government troops.

Water and Irrigation Minister, Mabior Garang de Mabior told The EastAfrican that Dr Machar arrived in Kinshasa on Monday in transit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he will be waiting for countries in the region to intervene in the Juba crisis.

The whereabouts of Dr Machar had been a matter of speculation since he left Juba on July 11 when fighting broke out.

All along, close aides of Dr Machar said that he had been in the bushes around Juba after media reports early last week indicated that he was in Tanzania, while others speculated that he is in Chad.

Following his departure from Juba, President Salva Kiir replaced him with Taban Deng Gai as the vice president, a move the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), that has been mediating the crisis, said was “null and void.”

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 to end the civil war, which broke out in December 2013 after President Kiir accused Dr Machar of plotting a coup, has so far been broken severally.

On Tuesday, President Kiir inaugurated parliament with new SPLM-IO members that have been nominated afresh by Mr Gai, leaving out the ones that had earlier been nominated by Dr Machar.

Early elections

President Kiir has also called for early elections before the end of the life of the transitional government contrary to the agreement.

According to South Sudan Deputy Ambassador to Kenya, Jimmy Deng, and President Kiir is “willing to be challenged” and he is “giving a chance to those who have been angling for the seat to come forward and contest”. Mr Deng, however, said that President Kiir has invited political parties to further discuss the prospects of early elections and reach a consensus. The elections were supposed to be held in 2015 but aborted because of the civil war.

However, Mr Mabior, a spokesman of Dr Machar’s party, said that holding elections in the current situation is out of question and accused President Kiir of trying to legitimise his position after consistently working to dismantle the peace agreement by sacking his main partner.

“We in SPLM-IO still believe that the peace agreement can be salvaged because it talks about how to tackle political, economic and security reforms. However, should Igad fail to get the implementation back on track, we will have no option but to continue fighting,” Mr Mabior said.

As security situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate, Igad heads of state are scheduled to meet in Nairobi on August 22 to finalise the deployment of the 4,000-strong regional force with the first batch expected to be in Juba by September 19.

The UN Security Council on August 12 resolved to send the regional force to Juba and enhanced its mandate to include full combat with the purpose of protecting the civilians and acting as a buffer between the warring forces.

Shuttle diplomacy

Meanwhile, Juba has launched diplomatic campaign to convince the eastern African region to accept the recent changes in the transitional government despite the regional body Igad having declared them null and void.

Mr Gai was in Kenya on Tuesday to meet government officials in what Mr Deng said was part of shuttle diplomacy to convince the region to accept the recent changes in leadership.

“Mr Gai is working well with President Kiir to implement the agreement because the agreement provides for a replacement. Dr Machar can now come back as an ordinary citizen but only after he denounces violence,” Mr Deng said.

However, the new first vice president told a summit of the heads of state in Addis Ababa last week that he would step down once Dr Machar returns to Juba, otherwise he would continue with the implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement.
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Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000212532/bashir-rushes-to-the-rescue-of-machar-in-remote-drc-town

9 Comments

  1. Eli says:

    Standard (Kenya) Reporter;
    The conflict in South Sudan is beyond Dr. Riek Machar, yes it is unfortunate that he has to go through this but be reminded that currently the unrest is spread all over the nation. Some of us on this website did predicted exactly this event way before SPLA IO decided to relocate to Juba from their stronghold in Pangak. If SPLA IO could have listened then their position was stronger and the government would have succumb from both internal and external pressures. Mind you before Dr. Rieks arrival in Juba it was apparent the government was just about to collapse from within.
    But it is never too late even now the opposition is regrouping and Juba is besieged, all the ground roads from Juba to every corner is no more safe to travel and Juba will not survive too long.
    We wish Dr Machar a speedy recovery and to join us in the fronts.
    Eli Wani
    SSNLF

  2. Gatdarwich says:

    Dr. Riek is guided by the bravest and mightiest Naathsons. He is hundred percent safe, unscratched, and absolutely NO president Al Bashir played any role in his evacuation from the frontline to the safety zone full stop

  3. Justin Ambago Ramba says:

    This account though seems to contain a lot of details; but the fact that it is all (the details) based on hearsay statements. it will still need further verifications from Dr. Riek Machar himself and his aides.

    The bottom line is that he is now safe in Kinshasha and receiving the care he needs. We sincerely wish him a quick recovery. Alluta continua, the struggle continues and victory is certain.

    Dr J A C Ramba
    IO Representative
    To the United Kingdom

  4. genesis. says:

    is he wounded?soryyyyy!

  5. False Millionnaire says:

    Good for him but a bad news to RSS!!!

  6. Comrade Yien Mathew says:

    Hi All,
    Where is Pagan Amoum,Majak Agoot,Gier Chuang,Oyai Deng who uses Dr. Machar as a tool but finally left him alone to suffer Where are they? they are all in exile eating the money they have stolen from the Gov,t of S.Sudan.They are all weak people who don not have support from their villages.I advice u not to make noise any more your call for UN intervention will never help but to mobilized yr communities by then as the mean u would have used but now DR. Machar is carrying the cross alone.Machar was deceived by many single handed politicians who who do not have a support.Those who use sharp tongues as a weapons of must destruction,among u you will never appeared in any South Sudan politics i swear by all means you are known as the architect of war of Dec’ 2013 and u appear as if you are the best in the eye of international community what a shame u will all died where ever u are and the blood of the innocent South Sudanese be upon u.
    Reply

    Leave a Reply

  7. Bol says:

    Hi readers,
    Since when did human life becomes one of Khartoum’s interests ? The old Alliance is now taking shape. My hope is that SSN will be praising the role of the good man Omar al Bashir in fighting the evil Kiir. After all, it’s politics. No permenan hostilities! Salam alikum. …..

  8. Bentiu Ramaran says:

    Congratulations Dr. Machar on making it to neighboring countries but you need to rethink and firmly revise your political goal for South Sudan. Understand that all the tribes in South Sudan are strongly supporting you from the bottom of their heart but you are the one who is failing these South Sudanese communities which pledge to stand with you.

  9. Kirr,relation with President Omer El Beshir,must be well watched!!!!! Sudan must should not be invited in South Sudan problems!!! That will be up to Kirr himself to do what he can do! Sudan has not done yet the CPA Postwar outstanding.Omer El Behsir,he is a hypocrite! Again, a terrible liar! He cannot be trusted at all!

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