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Machar in Addis Ababa for meetings with UN officials

SPLM-Io leader Riek Machar speaks at the peace celebration day in Juba on 31 October 2018 (AP Photo).
July 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) Riek Machar arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday.

Machar who is confined in Khartoum according to SPLM-IO officials will meet Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, on preventing sexual violence in conflict.

Also, he is expected to meet the African Union and IGAD officials during his stay in the Ethiopian capital.

SPLM-IO officials declined to comment on the reason for the meeting.

In 2018, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) documented 238 incidents of conflict-related sexual violence in South Sudan involving 1,291 victims, the majority being women and girls, with 10 male victims. Of the total number, 153 were children.

According to a report released in March 2019, (92) incidents were attributed to elements from the SPLM-IO led by Taban Deng and (84) incidents to elements of the SPLM-IO Machar.

The remaining sexual assaults were committed by various armed groups and unidentified gunmen who represent the majority (25 cases).

Machar is supposed to return to Khartoum after his meetings.

The opposition leader had declined calls by Salva Kiir to return to Juba, asking that the main tasks of the pre-transitional period be implemented first.

(ST)