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Juba downplays significance of Machar’s alleged UK visit

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February 22, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Saturday downplayed the significance of the alleged visit of its former vice-president turned rebel leader to the United Kingdom, despite rebels denying these claims.

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South Sudan’s rebel leader, Riek Machar, pictured inside rebel-controlled territory in Jonglei state on 1 February 2014 (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

Presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny said he was optimistic that the British government would not provide any weapons to Riek Machar.

“The visit would not have any significant impact that would affect relations between the two countries, because United Kingdom is capital of liberties and I believe the UK government would not provide weapons to the rebel leader if that were to be the mission,” Ateny exclusively told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

The official’s remarks came in the wake of reports on social media that Machar visited the UK after leaving his base in Jonglei state by a plane allegedly chartered by Egyptians and went to the capital, Cairo.

The rebel leader, according to unconfirmed reports, allegedly got a visa at British embassy in Cairo on Thursday before leaving for the UK on Friday night.

On January 15, South Sudan President Salva Kiir cancelled Machar’s diplomatic passport. The visit, if true, would be the rebel leader’s first foreign trip since the outbreak of the conflict between rival factions of soldiers within the country’s presidential force.

MACHAR’S ALLEGED VISIT DENIED

But Machar’s spokesperson has refuted these allegation, saying the rebel leader had not traveled beyond South Sudan borders.

"This is not true. Dr. Riek Machar is in his base in Jonglei state. He has not travelled outside South Sudan since December last year. The government needs to revisit the source of such incorrect information,” James Gatdet Dak told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

He, however, stressed that his boss was free to travel outside the country if and when he wanted to, hinted that the rebel leader had not yet decided to travel abroad.

(ST).

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  • 23 February 12:01, by Whortti Bor Manza

    Even cancelling Dr. Machar’s diplomatic passport could not stop him from visiting the UK. Why could president Kiir not stop him from travelling ther? Kiir’s henchmen are out to antagonize the whole world: The British, Americans, Egyptians, the Israelis and many others. The question is, who are Kiir’s friend?

    repondre message

  • 23 February 14:37, by Raanchol

    Ya mith Aguech,
    Riek Machar willn not do anything, we have a plan of capturing him alive and slaughter him infront of everyone so that you idiots learn of his stupidity.

    repondre message

    • 23 February 15:39, by what the hell

      Raanchol
      this man deserve to die like a dog, but i have another ideate late him live and allow him for he is fighting for, which nyundeng chose him to be come a president, those supporting him will be disappointed

      repondre message

  • 23 February 19:55, by Black Africa

    President Salva Kiir must resign if he doesn’t want to resign, I am calling for my Great Equatorian to prepare themselves for war with Kiir government or Great Equatorian need self determination now. The time has come, wake up..it will be much better for us "’Great Equatorian" to live by ourselves than living under Salva Kiir leadership.He has created tribalism atmosphere . Wake up GE.

    repondre message

    • 24 February 02:26, by Malakal county Simon

      Its better for Greater Equatoria to wake-up now, then later!!!! The current Kiir Government is a government of gangs and tribalism which will not take us anywhere for many years to comes!!!!

      repondre message

      • 24 February 02:43, by Malakal county Simon

        Thanks to Mabaan community’s, Murle tirbe, and few Shilluk tribe, for refusing to be bribe, and to fight on Kiir side which has also been abandon by the most Dinka community’s of Lake State.... As unconfirmed source said that’s Kiir he is currently in South Africa for medical treatment, and after treatment done he might also convert his plan to Kampala for his exile!!!! Down! Down! with Kiir

        repondre message

    • 24 February 07:27, by Konkooc

      black africa
      do you know much it takes to gain self determination.
      try it guys and you will regret it

      repondre message

  • 24 February 10:21, by Zeki

    That is how the man escape war went it become hot, do you thing Riek Machar can tell trust to his forces that he is become tired of war? no, he can decide like visit UK while seeking aslym and will never come back.

    repondre message

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