SPLM-IO condemns IGAD continued detention of its chairman

South Sudan SPLM-IO Chairman and COmmander-in-Chief Dr. Riek Machar Machar Teny-Dhurgon arrives at the national palace to negotiate with South Sudan President Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

December 3rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, has condemned the continued IGAD detention of its chairman Dr. Riek Machar who has been under forced house confinement since 2016.

Machar’s release has been one of the demands of the main armed opposition group. A meeting of the IGAD heads of state and government in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa which would have ended with Machar’s release failed to deliberate on the main armed opposition leader’s status.

Instead the meeting deferred the deliberation on Machar’s status to the new IGAD chairman Abdalla Hamdok who is expected to convene an extra-ordinary summit of the heads of state and government of the regional bloc in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the SPLM-IO director of information and public relations Puok Both Baluang said the group condemns the continued detention of its leader urging the next IGAD meeting to release Machar.

“[The SPLM-IO] condemns in the strongest terms possible the continued detention of H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon by the IGAD,” the statement partly reads.

The statement said there was no basis for the continuation of the detention because the “IGAD Council of Ministers, the Regional and International Especial Envoys to South Sudan unanimously resolved for immediate release of H.E. Dr. Riek Machar and for lifting of all restriction set upon him.”

The statement further “call[s] upon the next IGAD Ordinary Summit to release H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon from this unlawful restriction.”

“Finally, we would like to congratulate Sudan for being elected as the Chair of IGAD, and encourage the IGAD new leadership to play more effective role for ensuring full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

“In conclusion, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) reiterates its full commitment to the implementation of the (R-ARCSS) in letter and spirit, as the only way to attain peace in South Sudan.”

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