IGAD urged to release SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar
January 27th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, has urged the regional body to convene so that it determine the status of its Chairman Dr. Riek Machar Teny who has been under house arrest since 2016.
The call comes a day after Machar left Juba where he has been talking with President Kiir to implement the outstanding issues which has been hampering efforts to form the unity government provided for in a 2018 peace agreement.
Machar has been under detention since 2016 in South Africa and Sudan. The United Nations and several Western countries including the United States has been talking to IGAD to release Machar from detention which is being seen as unreasonable by many as he is a signatory to the revitalized peace agreement.
Speaking to Nyamilepedia this afternoon, SPLM-IO director of information and public relations Puok Both Baluang called on the regional body to convene so that they determine Machar’s status.
“We called on the region and the IGAD in particular to meet so that the status of the Chairman Dr. Machar is determined,” Baluang said adding that there was no a concrete reason why the government’s peace partner should be kept under house arrest.
He further said the Western government should instead pressure the regional bloc which mediated the 2018 peace agreement to release Machar saying a government is not what is needed in South Sudan but a change of the status quo.
“The international community should pressure the IGAD to release Machar and advise the government to live up to its pledges about the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement,” he said.
“I don’t know whether the international community are seeking peace or a government in South Sudan. If it is about a government, there is a government. What we need in South Sudan is not a government. It is a durable solution which will lead to peace in the country,” he added.
He further said the current government “want to keep the status quo rather than the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement which can bring sustainable peace to the country.”