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South Sudan’s Machar did not try to escape Khartoum

South Sudan's opposition leader Riek Machar speaks during a briefing in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa April 9, 2016 (Photo Reuters/ Tiksa Negeri)
April 26, 2019 (JUBA) - Source close to the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar dismissed reports about plans by the designate first vice-president to quit Khartoum and to move to the Upper Nile region in South Sudan.

The fake reports claimed that Machar’s house in Khartoum had been besieged by the Sudanese army to prevent his departure without the knowledge of the transitional military council.

However, a source close to the opposition leader who requested anonymity told Sudan Tribune that Machar who is confined by the IGAD in Sudan has no intention to leave Khartoum without the permission of the Sudanese authority and the IGAD.

"Actually what happened is that under the current political situation in Khartoum, the Sudanese authorities withdrew the guards who are from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and deployed others from the Sudanese army," said the source.

Machar returned to Khartoum from Rome where he attended a spiritual retreat with President Salva Kiir on 17 April.

His entourage said it was only two days ago that for the first time he went out of his house to his office after his return to the Sudanese capital.

Juba says the transitional will be established despite the failure form the reunified army, while SPLM-IO official criticized the delay and warned that Machar might not return under the lack of the joint protection force.

The Sudanese army overthrew the regime of president Omer al-Bashir on 11 April. Since the army has been controlling everything in the country.

The military council said they support the regional efforts to resolve the armed conflict in South Sudan.

(ST)