Machar flies to S.Africa as Kiir disagrees with Zuma

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks during an interview with Reuters in his office in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa July 9, 2014. South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on Wednesday called on rebels to resume peace talks as the country marked its third birthday with celebrations overshadowed by fighting that has killed thousands and brought it to the verge of famine. In a swift response, Machar told Reuters that he was ready to resume dialogue but warned his troops would target South Sudan's oil installations if fighting resumed and the government used oil revenues to buy arms. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri (ETHIOPIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST ANNIVERSARY) - RTR3XV7C

South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar speaks during an interview with Reuters in his office in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa July 9, 2014.

Riek Machar has left Khartoum for South Africa to seek further medical treatment.

Sudanese media houses reported that the militia chief left Khartoum this morning.

They quote him saying that his visit was temporary and that he shall leave South Africa once his medical tests are completed.

It is not clear whether he shall be returning to Sudan or seek asylum in a third country once he leaves South Africa.

Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma who has been paying a visit to Kenya castigated Riek for advocating violence.

Zuma  told the press in Nairobi yesterday that “there is absolutely no need for fighting. Further fighting will only exacerbate the human suffering in South Sudan. We call on Dr Machar to return to Juba and participate in the transitional government.”

Reacting to the statement, South Sudan government rejected President Zuma’s call on the armed opposition leader Riek Machar to return to the capital Juba for peace implementation.

Ateny Wek Ateny, South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, told Radio Tamazuj yesterday that they reject the return of Machar to Juba, saying that the peace agreement is being implemented by the newly appointed First Vice President Taban Deng Gai.

“Our position is clear, we do not want another war, because Riek Machar has declared war, he is not a man of peace,” said Ateny.”Taban Deng is a man of peace, he is the one who can implement the peace agreement,” he added.

For his part, the SPLM-IO faction led by Riek Machar has welcomed President Zuma’s for peace implementation in the presence of Riek Machar in Juba.

Mabior Garang de Mabior, official spokesman of the SPLM-IO faction, told Radio Tamazuj that they welcome the calls upon Riek Machar to return to Juba. However, Garang said that their leader will return to Juba if new security arrangements are made.

“We welcome this call, but he cannot return to Juba as a normal citizen, we cannot return to Juba without security arrangements,” said Garang.


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