August 25, 2016 (JUBA)- South Sudanese government has announced the presence of armed opposition leader and ex-first vice president, Riek Machar, in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, but said it would not affect the relations between the two countries because Sudanese authorities were acting out of humanitarian grounds.
- Machar speaks on a mobile phone after an interview with Reuters in Kenya’s capital Nairobi July 8, 2015
The South Sudanese presidential advisor on security affairs, Tut Kew Gatluak, told reporters on Wednesday after briefing President Salva Kiir on a visit to the Sudanese capital, Juba, with the new first vice president, Taban Deng Gai, that the government has been informed of the presence of Machar in Khartoum.
Gatluak, flanked by the minister in the office of the president Mayiik Ayii Deng, who spoke before him and oil minister, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, said the government has received reports of the presence of Machar in Khartoum by the Sudanese authorities without objection.
“Yes, we have received reports of the presence of Riek Machar in Khartoum. We have been informed about and we know he is there on humanitarian ground. This will not affect our relations. We understand”, said Gatluak in a statement broadcast by South Sudan broadcasting corporation.
The Deputy Minister of Information, Akol Paul Kordit, also announced the same government owned broadcaster that first vice president Taban Deng Gai was informed of the ex-FVP’s presence in Khartoum.
He added that the government calls upon Riek to denounce violence and disassociate himself ‘from all the activities that are likely to undermine the implementation of the peace agreement.’ Kordit said ‘peace is a collective responsibility for unity government and the IGAD member states.
The official revealed that IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) member countries as well as neigbouring African countries in the region and the entire region have been asked to not give Machar any conducive environment that he would use to undermine the stability of South Sudan and the implementation of the peace agreement.
The armed opposition leader and ex-FVP Riek Machar arrived in Khartoum for medical treatment on ’humanitarian grounds’, according to Sudan’s Minister of Information, Ahmed Bilal Osman.
In a statement by the Sudan News Agency, Osman announced that Sudan had recently received Riek Machar ’’for he needs for urgent medical attention for purely humanitarian reasons.’’
The statement adds that Riek’s condition is now stable, and he will stay in the country under full medical supervision until he leaves the country for a destination of his choice to complete his medical treatment. South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth claimed in a separate interview that Riek was suffering from a chest infection.
He did not elaborate on his claims. Machar’s arrival in Khartoum comes after the United Nations announced last week that he and 10 others were airlifted from South Sudan’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for their safety.