December 3, 2016 (JUBA) - The Ethiopian government has accepted a request by South Sudan government to shut down all offices belonging to its armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) loyal to ex-first vice president-turned rebel leader, Riek Machar in Addis Ababa.
- Machar speaks on a mobile phone after an interview with Reuters in Kenya’s capital Nairobi July 8, 2015
"Our relations with the countries in the region are increasingly improving to the better. The visit of the first vice president, General Taban Deng Gai, has made a significant improvement in the relations with our neigbouring countries. Now Ethiopia has accepted in principle to close down all the offices run by individuals are still loyal to Riek Machar," a presidential source knowledgeable of events said Saturday.
"They have also agreed to not allow these elements to not carry out their activities in Addis Ababa," added the source.
The official who spoke to Sudan Tribune said the move will be part of bilateral agreement which the two countries have agreed to implement with immediate effect as part of the arrangement to halt support and to rebels operating in each other’s territory.
It is not clear what will happen the armed opposition officials if the deal is implemented.
Many observers have expressed fear that members of armed opposition will be forced to either stop talking politics, go to refugee camps outside Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, return to country in their rebel held areas or join Machar’s successor faction.
Ethiopian authorities had earlier dismissed claims that it denied the South Sudanese armed opposition leader from, who arrived from South Africa, from landing in its territory.