August 08, 2016(Nyamilepedia) ——– Speaking with confident, many armed opposition leaders inside and outside the country stress that their chairman and commander-in-Chief, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, is safe and well protected within the country.
Despite numerous fighting for the last three weeks, the opposition leaders including their military generals warn that Machar controls a huge force that could overrun the capital Juba if the region and the international community do not promptly deploy a third party force in Juba.
They said their forces have defeated and frustrated government troops who tried to pursue their chairman, Machar, who is only fighting in self-defense. A video released today by BBC confirms that Juba military hospital has over 1000 patients, mostly wounded soldiers from the frontlines.
According to James Gatdet Dak, the Press Secretary of Dr. Riek Machar, who spoke today from Nairobi, the chairman is safe and far from where clashes have been reported in the last three weeks.
“Dr. Riek Machar is safe where is he is. The fighting is not close to where he is. Fighting is far from where he is located currently” Gatdet Dak told Capital FM in Kenya.
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Speaking to Director for Directorate of Training of SPLA-IO, Maj. Gen. Duoth Nhial Pech, in Northern Upper Nile, he repeats that Machar does not even need a reinforcement to overrun Juba, he has enough forces around him to capture Juba.
Speaking softly with confident, Gen. Duoth stressed that their commander-in-chief is only waiting for the United Nations Security Council meeting, which is expected this coming Friday, to approve the US-backed regional troops, or otherwise, the opposition would march to Juba to restore peace and stability.
Machar’s forces have controlled parts of Greater Equatoria in the three states of Central, Western and Eastern Equatoria for more than 2 years. Attempts to flush them out have failed several times.
According to Mabior Garang de Mabior, who spoke on BBC last week, the SPLM/SPLA-IO has enough means to get their leader out of the country if they choose to, however, Mabior stressed that Dr. Machar is safe and therefore he prefers to remain with his forces.
He reiterates that Dr. Machar would leave a vacuum, which may cause unnecessary panic among the SPLA-IO army, if he leaves frontline.
“No, Machar is in South Sudan. We as a leadership have tried to convince him to be evacuated but he has refused to be evacuated, he wants to be in South Sudan, he doesn’t want to come out. There is an opportunity for him to be able to come out but he wants to be on the ground so that there is no lost of central command with the forces” Former Minister, Mabior Garang de Mabior tells BBC
Mabior warns that their troops could be forced to overrun the capital if SPLA-IG continues to pursue Machar while Peace Brokers continue to drag their feets.
“We are only fighting right now in self-defense, we are appealing to our partners and we are appealing to the world. We don’t have the luxary of just waiting for an intervention force. We want this to be done quickly so that we can return to the implementation of the agreement but at the same time we have the right to defense ourselves” Mabior said.
“We have the capacity to march to Juba but this is not our prioirty, our priority is to follow the law and to implement the agreement. This is the best way for a smooth transition” Mabior reiterates.
In 2013 when the conflict broke out for the first time, Machar and his soldiers spent almost 6 months in the field fighting brutal wars that involved Ugandan army and Sudanese five rebel factions. He ensured that a peace process was initiated and negotiations started in Addis Ababa before he emerged.
Although he remains at the frontline, Machar controls communication with partners, IGAD, TROIKA, and the international community.
Members of the international community including representatives of the United Nations, African Union and US diplomats traveled to the interior of Upper Nile to consult Dr. Riek Machar.
Unlike in the past two years, the recent fighting in Juba has remained around Juba and continues to threaten lives and regional peace and stability.
A regional troop could come in anytime to break the fight but no one knows exactly the details of its mandate and the total number of troops to be deployed.
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