Deposed South Sudan’s former First Vice President, Riek Machar, has been discharged from a hospital in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
Machar was this week admitted in Khartoum after being transferred from Congo where he first had treatment at Kisangani hospital.
His spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune that there has been a significant health improvement on his swollen leg curtsey of a 40-days walk in jungles.
Machar was discharged on Thursday and then moved to a residence in Khartoum for further in-house care by Sudanese government.
“Yes, my Chairman Dr. Riek Machar has been discharged from the hospital in Khartoum. He has regained strength from the extreme exhaustion. His swollen leg has also significantly improved. He can now walk with it, although still slowly,” Dak told Tribune.
He added: “He [Machar] is no longer in the hospital. He has been moved to a residential area. We thank the Sudanese government for their hospitality.”
President Salva Kiir’s diplomat Gordon Buay, who resides in Washington DC, shared pictures of Machar taken while lying on bed and was being carried by United Nations peace keepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Dak said the pictures are authentic and were taken, probably by the peacekeepers who airlifted him.
He, however, said they were old pictures taken on 17 August when Machar was being airlifted from the DRC-South Sudan border by the UN peacekeepers.
He however said lying on the bed and being carried did not mean his health condition was in very critical condition, but was simply due to exhaustion and swollen leg, which made it difficult for him to walk well on his own.
“Yes, the pictures are authentic. But what do you expect from someone at his age who had been chased in the bushes by ground forces and helicopter gunships for 40 days? Surely, anybody can get extreme exhaustion and when you are exhausted and you have swollen legs, you definitely lie down. This is obvious.”
He added: “And if it was Salva Kiir who had been chased for 40 days in the wilderness, I can also guarantee you that he would have been in the same situation, extremely exhausted and would lie down too.”
According to Dak, Machar reportedly survived attempted assassinations twice in December 2013 and July 2016 during which his residents in Juba were bombed in the two incidents and was chased into the bushes to hunt him down.