By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
August 25, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s former first vice-president and armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, is in good health condition, an opposition diplomat said.
- South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a news conference in Uganda’s capital Kampala January 26, 2016 (Reuters photo)
The Sudanese government on Tuesday announced that Machar was in Khartoum to receive medical treatment.
In telephone interview, the armed opposition representative to the United Nations, Miyong Kuon said Machar’s state of health is much better than it was two weeks ago.
“The Chairman is recovering very well in Khartoum. He is doing well and ready to talk to the world”, he told Sudan Tribune.
The opposition official added Machar was not shot as reported by some media outlets.
Machar is receiving medical treatment because “He had cuts in his left foot from long walks coupled with exhaustion”.
Machar had reportedly walked about 200 kilometers from Eastern Equatoria inside Sudan before managing to arrive in the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC).
Khartoum had notified Juba that Machar’s presence in Sudan is for pure humanitarian reasons.
There were rumors that the Sudanese government has sent an aircraft to evacuate the former vice president from a hideout in a remote town in the DRC.
However, SPLM-IO official on Friday dismissed those reports saying unfounded.
“Khartoum was not involved in the rescue operation, there was no a Sudanese airplane used as reported”, he explained.
It is not yet clear if Machar will return to DRC or move to other country after recovery.
However opposition officials here in Addis Ababa told Sudan Tribune that they want their chairman to be relocated to Ethiopia where IGAD still recognizes him as the legitimate vice-president of South Sudan.
Riek Machar has refused to return to South Sudan’s capital Juba unless a regional force is deployed.
Machar fled the capital Juba, over a month ago following fierce fighting with government troops which led to attempts on his life.
Opposition officials say this is this is a second murder attempt he has survived after the one in December 2013.
Machar reportedly fled the country along with his wife, Angelina Teny, Brigadier Simon Bangong and 100 soldiers.