August 21, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese former First Vice President, Riek Machar, will speak to the media at an appropriate time, says his official spokesperson.
- South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a press conference in his private residence in Addis Ababa, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (Photo AP/Mulugete Ayehe)
James Gatdet Dak, spokesman for the opposition leader, said Machar was regaining strength from exhaustion after walking for hundreds of kilometers for 40 days in the bushes from Juba, the South Sudanese capital, to the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“I understand many people are eager to hear his voice or see him talking to the media. This will happen soon. He is regaining strength from the exhaustion. He walked for 40 days, also dodging bombs dropped on him by President Salva Kiir’s helicopter gunships. But he will speak to the media as soon as he feels stronger,” Dak told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.
Dak was responding to circulated rumours on social that Machar might have been in critical situation in hospital in DR Congo or his leg wounded with gunshot. He said the allegations were false.
“No, none of these allegations is true. Only his legs slightly got swollen because of walking for 40 days. He was not wounded. It is obvious that walking for such a very long time would result to extreme exhaustion. However, he has regained strength and it is a matter few days he will appear to the media,” he added.
He also said the rest of the political and military leaderships of the opposition faction are with him are doing fine.
Machar, First Vice President, escaped from Juba when he was reportedly lured to the palace by his political rival, President Salva Kiir, was nearly got killed.
He fled the capital on 8 July when his bodyguards were attacked at the palace and his residence was also bombed. He hid in the bushes with his small number of troops amidst continued bombardments until he reached the Congolese border.