August 17, 2016 (JUBA) – Riek Machar, former South Sudanese First Vice President and leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), has been “successfully” relocated to a neighbouring country after more than one month of battling President Salva Kiir’s forces in the capital, Juba, and around it, his spokesperson has announced.
James Gatdet Dak, official Spokesman for the SPLM-IO leader, confirmed that Machar was relocated to outside the country on Wednesday, 17 August 2016, exactly one year after he signed a peace deal, which is now “collapsing.”
“Yes, Comrade Dr. Riek Machar has been successfully relocated to a neighbouring country today, 17 August 2016. This is after more than one month after President Kiir and his forces attempted to eliminate him, right from the Palace in Juba, in his residence at Jebel and in the bushes around Juba,” he confirmed to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.
“His relocation also came exactly one year after he signed the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan on August 17, 2015, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa,” Dak added.
Dak said Machar was among his forces since 8 July when the fighting erupted in Juba as his bodyguards were attacked; his base and residence were bombed using heavy distilleries, tanks and helicopter gunships.
While he could not disclose the name of the neighbouring nation which Machar has relocated to, he however said he was now safe after a month of continued daily attacks and bombardments with helicopter gunships around Juba in Central Equatoria.
He said the opposition leader will in the next few days make a public statement through the media about the way forward.