October 14, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— The leader of SPLM/A in Opposition Dr. Riek Machar denied a report from media houses that he declared a full scale war against the government of South Sudan. Machar, in his exclusive interview with VOA on Thursday from South Africa, dismissed the media report as negative propaganda against his movement.
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Machar stated that he is not starting a new war, he is fighting back to a war already started by President Salva Kiir; warning people who have no knowledge about what is happening on the ground to ‘read things correctly’.
“There is more going on in South Sudan since July 8th, they all know it. People are up in arms in Equatoria because there is fighting. See what’s going on in Juba-Nimuli road, Juba-Yei road, Juba-Torit road, and it never stopped in Bahr el Ghazal even during the two months I was in Juba. I always complain why is SPLA fighting SPLA-IO in Bahr el Ghazal and in Equatoria, this is because Salva Kiir does not want cantonment forces in those areas. I am not starting a new war, it was started by Salva Kiir. I am surprised when people don’t read the thing correctly, they should read things correctly, there is war in South Sudan,” Machar explained.
The armed opposition leader asserted that he is reorganizing his forces against Kiir’s onslaught in Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile regions, and said there is no point for people to condemn him for self-defence. While peace is necessary to be resuscitatd, Machar called upon peace players to engage South Sudan political parties with dialogue due to instability and ongoing conflict.
“There must be a political dialogue in the way forward of how to resuscitate the peace agreement. If dialogue is not there, we are reorganizing ourselves and continue defending ourselves. We are actually resisting because we are being forced, why the rest are condemning us for defending ourselves?” he angrily reacted.
Machar was forced out in Juba in July 2016 by a fighting that took place in Presidential palace (J1) in Juba; he was later replaced as country’s First Vice President with his former chief negotiator and former Minister of Mining Gen. Taban Deng Gai. Machar dismissed Taban from SPLM/A- before Kiir appointed him as the second powerful man in the country.