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Dr Machar is free – Makuei

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Thursday, November 19, 2020

Dr. Riek Machar, South Sudan's First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader, in his office in Juba in July 2020 | Credit | James Gatdet

The minister of information has refuted claims that the first vice president is being restricted from traveling within and outside the country.

Michael Makuei was reacting to assertions by the SPLA-IO Chief of General Staff that Dr. Riek Machar’s inability to visit troops at the cantonment sites to update them on the implementation of the revitalized peace deal meant his movements were being restricted.

The IGAD Liaison office in Juba yesterday also said it has written to the region to allow Dr. Machar to move freely.

Some activists and members of the public wondered why Dr Machar was confined to his offices during the implementation of the revitalized peace deal.

In response, the spokesperson of the transitional government of national unity dismissed such assertions.

“As to where these people got their information is up to them. He has not been restricted,” Michael Makuei stated.

“If he was under arrest or restricted, why should he be performing the official duties? These are stories concocted by sycophants that do not want peace for South Sudan.”

Since his return to Juba last year, Dr. Riek Machar has not left the country.

He has also not travelled anywhere outside Juba.

In April last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia issued a verbal note indicating that IGAD had not put any restriction on Machar’s travel to any country of his choice.

This eventually enabled Dr. Machar to travel to the Vatican to attend the spiritual retreat convened by Pope Francis.

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