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No special protection for Riek if he returns

Author : Daniel Danis | Published: Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Minister of Information says there was no discussion made with the UN Security Council as to whether regional protection force will include those who will provide security for Dr Riek Machar.

A visiting Security Council team left left on Monday after a 4-day discussions with government officials and civil society activists on a resolution approving the protection force.

In July, Dr. Riek objected to the President’s call for him to return to Juba unless regional troops are deployed in the capital to guarantee his safety.

President Kiir had agreed in an interview with Kenyan Television Network, KTN, to allow only 500 soldiers to protect Dr. Riek.

However, since his replacement with Taban Deng Gai as First Vice President, the discussion on the regional force has centered on protection of civilians, humanitarian activities and important installations.

Michael Makuei Lueth on Monday said the visit of the UN Security Council did not include deliberations on the return or security for Dr Riek Machar in Juba.

“This force will be brought for the protection of the civil population, including Riek Machar, because Riek Machar is a civilian,” Mr Makuei stated.

“He’s a citizen of this country, and if he comes as a citizen, he deserves protection like any other. But we have no special protection for Riek Machar if he comes back.”

Makuei added that the government has not accepted the deployment of the troops, but gave its ‘consent’ in order to pave way relevant institutions of TGoNU and UNMISS to work out the modalities of deploying such troops.

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