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SPLM-IO slams diplomat over threats to reconfine Machar in South Africa

August 15, 2018 (KHARTOUM) -The Sudan People Liberation Movement In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) has demanded a formal apology from the South Sudanese ambassador to Khartoum after threatening to re-arrest its leader Riek Machar.

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South Sudanese Ambassador to Khartoum Mayan Dut Waal

Ambassador Mayan Dut Waal who is a member of the government negotiating team in the ongoing peace talks over in Khartoum said that Machar would be rearrested and confined again in South Africa if his group continues obstructing the final phase of talks.

Waal made his comments during a meeting of a committee on the competences and attribution of the President, First Vice President and other four vice-presidents.

The SPLM-IO delegation walked out of the meeting room and later sent a protesting letter addressed to the IGAD special envoy Ismail Wais accusing the South Sudanese government official of reckless comments that could endanger the ongoing efforts for peace in the country.

Stephen Par Kuol, head of the SPLM-IO National Committee for Foreign Affairs told Sudan Tribune Wednesday they sent a letter to the IGAD Special envoy rejecting these intimidations which could undermine the whole process.

“Your Excellency, this intimidating utterance violates the spirit of what we have so far achieved here in Khartoum. With the apparent failure of the mediation to rebuke Ambassador Dut to withdraw his undiplomatic statement, we have been made to conclude that such pronouncement by a senior diplomatic representative accredited to this country is based on informing position of the government to get its way through intimidating the SPLM-IO in these talks,” he said.

“This is not a conducive spirit to continue negotiating with the government delegation without withdrawing that statement. Hence, we have decided to withdraw from that committee to discuss the issue under discussion until we receive a formal statement to withdraw that statement,” Kuol further stressed.

The mediations said the final phase on some bracketed issues and final arrangements should be concluded on 19 August.

However, sources in Khartoum say the discussions may be extended for after Eid al-Adha due to the slow progress in the talks.

(ST)