July 2, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The former vice president, and the current chairman of the SPLM in opposition, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has traveled to South Africa on Tuesday to meet president Jacob Zuma and his government.
According to James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesperson, the chairman of the armed opposition left Addis Ababa on Tuesday for Johannesburg.
“Our chairman, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has extended his diplomatic tour to South Africa to meet president Jacob Zuma. He left Addis Ababa for Johannesburg on Tuesday.” Dak said.
DR. Machar is accompanied by Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing, the chairman of national committee for external relations, his deputy, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the former South Sudan Ambassador to Washington, and other senior politicians.
Gatdet believes that the visit presents “an important opportunity for Dr. Machar to tell the story to the South African leadership about what has truly transpired in South Sudan.”
Machar, who will spend unspecified number of days in South Africa, is also expected to meet with the country’s opposition parties to brief them on what the South Sudan government believes was a coup, masterminded by Dr. Machar.
Although the Juba government has released the political detainees and president Yoweri Museveni, among others, have denied the coup, Machar is still eager to address the root cause of the conflict. In his recent interview with Sudan Tribune, Machar maintains that people should know that the senior politicians did not stage a coup as alleged by the government.
“I want to tell them again we didn’t make a coup in South Sudan. We are not coup makers. There was only a plot hitched by President Salva Kiir to get rid of his comrades in the SPLM/A, and therefore he made that statement and propagated it.”
Machar believes that the implication has serious negative impacts on his legacy, or even worst they would have been killed if Juba succeeded to arrest him in December.
“If he would have caught me then we would all be dead and the story would have stuck that we made a coup. We didn’t make a coup. We are democrats.” Dr. Machar told Tesfa-Alem Tekle, in Addis Ababa.
Machar plans to visit countries within Africa, as well as China, USA and other western countries to present his account on how to resolve the conflict and restore peace in a country that is currently ranked as the most fragile state in the world.
Machar plans to visit Sudan, Djibouti among other countries. His recent visit to Nairobi, which the opposition believes was very successful, was sharply criticized by the South Sudan government, claiming that a rebel leader does not deserve a red carpet.
Although the Kenyan government did not respond to the accusations, the government has permitted Machar to hold meetings in the country, something that Juba has criticized the neighboring Sudan for.
The government of South Sudan has criticize Khartoum government for allowing Machar’s delegations to hold public conferences in their capital, claiming that Machar’s visit or his activities should have been coordinated through South Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs.
Mawien Makol Arik, the spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs later stated that Machar should be free to move as he wants because the government has no control over him.
Machar has mandated his deputy, Alfred Lado Gore, to lead a delegation to the United State, with plans for Machar to visit USA and Europeans countries at some later dates.
“First, I am sending a delegation to the US, my deputy [Gen Alfred Ladu Gore]. He is processing his documents and he will lead a delegation to the US. Hopefully when he comes back I will also pay a visit to US, not only to the US, but also to other European countries.”