South Sudan rebel chief Riek Machar is currently under house arrest in the Sudan capital Khartoum.
Multiple sources told edge.ug that Machar cannot move freely without the approval of the regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development [IGAD].
“Yes, he will stay under house arrest in Khartoum until he returns to Juba,” a source told edge.ug on Friday.
“They [IGAD] are just taking a precaution. He will return to Juba to form the new government in May 2019.”
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) Chairperson of National Committee for Foreign Relations, Stephen Par Kuol, told Nyamilepedia that Machar will be declared free in an IGAD summit after formation of the new government.
Machar who has since 2016 been under house arrest in South Africa was partially released in May 2018 to participate in the peace process.
Kiir says he is welcome
Addressing a rally at Aweil State Freedom Square Sunday, South Sudan President Salva Kiir urged the people of Aweil State to welcome Machar as a peace gesture.
“I came to deliver peace to you, embrace it. If Dr. Riek comes with his people, do not say that these are the same people who were fighting us. Welcome them because they are your brothers and sisters,” Kiir is quoted by Radio Tamazuj as saying.
In September 2018, President Salva Kiir and several opposition leaders, including main opposition leader Riek Machar signed a peace agreement to end the conflict.
“I must have to apologise first to the people because it is we SPLM [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] who caused these hardships. We fought for liberation until we liberated the country, and again we fought among each other again,” he added.
Defense minister says no return to war
South Sudanese defence minister Kuol Manyang said on Thursday they were committed to the peace deal that ended the conflict and there would be no return to war.
“I would like to assure you that the war will not start again, we are tired of war,” he is quoted by Radio Tamazuj as saying at the launch of the army’s action plan to end sexual violence in Juba.
He added: “We are committed to the full implementation of the agreement … We signed it and we have agreed to make peace. We found out that there is no reason for violence.”
Kuol called on the international community to fund efforts to implement the revitalised peace accord, which is already six months behind schedule due to lack of funds.
He said IGAD was convincing rebel Gen. Thomas Cirillo and Gen. Paul Malong to join the peace agreement.