South Sudan’s first vice president Riek Machar has left the capital Juba together with his troops, and is said to have set camp on the outskirts of the city, but he says he is not planning for war.
Forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to Machar engaged in a five-day gun battle until a ceasefire was declared by both leaders on Monday.
“We had to move away from our base (in Juba) to avoid further confrontation,” Reuters reports Machar’s spokesman James Gatdet Dak as saying in Nairobi.
Dak also said he was in contact with Machar’s forces. “He is around the capital. I cannot say the location.”
It is not clear what caused the latest fighting between the two factions who have been at war for years now.
Gatdet Dak said Machar would stay away from Juba until ceasefire details were worked out.
“He is not returning to the bush, nor is he organising for war,” the spokesman said, calling for an outside force to be deployed to act as a “buffer” between Machar and Kiir’s forces.