Igad refuses to free Machar from house arrest

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Dr Riek Machar

South Sudan opposition has expressed its displeasure at the regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development [IGAD] for refusing to release former first vice president Dr Riek Machar from his house arrest.

Cde. Puok Both Baluang, SPLM (IO) Director for Information and Public Relations, said a Tuesday press release that the issue was deferred to the next Ordinary Summit to be held in Khartoum, Sudan for which a date has not yet been set.

“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) regret to inform members and the general public that IGAD, contrary to what had been expected, failed to release H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon during its 13th Heads of State and Government Ordinary Summit held in November 29th, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” he noted.

Baluang condemned in the strongest terms possible the continued detention of H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon by the IGAD.

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He deplored the request of President Salva Kiir for immediate relocation of H.E. Dr. Riek Machar to Juba as an essential condition for release of Dr. Riek Machar.

This decision of President Kiir is reflective of ill intention, Baluang noted in the statement.

The opposition noted that the IGAD Council of Ministers, the Regional and International Especial Envoys to South Sudan unanimously resolved for immediate release of H.E. Dr. Riek Machar and for lifting of all restriction set upon him.

“We call upon the next IGAD Ordinary Summit to release H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon from this unlawful restriction.”

“Finally, we would like to congratulate Sudan for being elected as the Chair of IGAD, and encourage the IGAD new leadership to play more effective role for ensuring full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).”

The SPLM/SPLA (IO) reiterated its full commitment to the implementation of the (R-ARCSS) in letter and spirit, as the only way to attain peace in South Sudan.

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