IGAD asks the regional leader to release Machar from “house confinement”
Nov 17, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Amb. Tesfaye Negassa, the head of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s liaison office has written to the regional leaders to release opposition leader and First Vice-President Dr Riek Machar from “house confinement” and allow him to move freely in the region.
While addressing the press on Tuesday, the ambassador said that the opposition leader has the privilege to move around owing to the position he holds.
“As you know his Excellency the First Vice President of this country is holding a very high office, and by virtue of that, he has all the privileges to move around. It is our belief,” said Amb. Tesfaye Negassa in a statement on Monday.
“We have handled it and IGAD’s Executive Secretary has already written a letter to the IGAD chairperson about his free movements,” he added.
Dr. Machar went to Juba in February after he was appointed the vice president and has since remained in Juba.
In September, the SPLM-IO leaders led by General Simon Gatwech Dual wrote to international bodies calling for the release of their leader and the First Vice President Dr Riek Machar from house confinement in Juba.
“However, I have written an appeal to South Sudan peace guarantors Troika, AU and IGAD to accept our request as a movement that the Chairman and Commander in Chief (C-in-C), First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, should be given a chance in order to meet and brief the SPLA (IO) Military Leadership (ML) about the status of the peace in the GHQs,” he said at the time.
They wanted their leader to be allowed to travel to the areas where he has a stronghold to address his followers.
In April 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia issued a verbal note indicating that IGAD had not put any restriction on Machar’s travel to any country of his choice.