Oct 17, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— South Sudan former First Vice President of the Transitional government of national unity that has now collapsed, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has began his regional tour to brief the media, peace guarantors and South Sudanese on the recent incident in Juba and ways forwards to restore the peace agreement.
Speaking to Kenya media from South Africa, Machar has clarified that he never started a war in Juba as alleged by President Salva Kiir and his supporters.
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Dr. Machar admitted that on July eighth he was accompanied by 50 vice-presidential guards and less than 20 security personnels to Salva Kiir palace.
At the palace, Machar was attacked and almost assassinated but his few bodyguards managed to fight back and created a temporary truce that allowed him to exit the palace.
“You know, I was attacked, I was nearly assassinated in the Presidential palace. When I went to Juba, I went to Juba to implement the peace agreement” Dr. Machar said.
According to Dr. Machar, 44 of his bodyguards deployed outside the J1 building were all killed during a 2-hours fighting and only six survived plus the security staffs inside the building.
According to a report signed by President Salva Kiir after the fighting, a total of 300 soldiers, including a few civilians, were killed that night.
Machar reiterates that the fighting came to haul after the guards fought enough, which created a temporary truce that allowed Machar and other senior officials to leave the presidential palace.
Although Machar incurred what he described as “the worst incident ever”, he remained in Juba until his forces were pursued at his residence and fought for another two successive full days from dawn to dust.
Accused of having started the conflict in Juba to overthrow the president, Machar describes President Kiir’s statements as “absolute lies”.
Machar, a PhD holder in Strategic Planning, said it would be really stupid to start a war in a government stronghold in Juba where your forces would be outnumbered over 25 times and outgunned by the opponents.
“Juba had over 25, 000 armed soldiers that belong to the former government then. So it would be stupid to start a war in Juba” Machar said.
If he was for war, Machar said he would have transported all the forces of 2910 that were agreed in the peace agreement and also transport enough weapons and ammunition before going to Juba but because he went for peace he decided to go with less than half of the agreed number.
“There were security arrangements agreed upon, and in these security arrangements we were suppose to flight in to Juba 2910 soldiers with light arms, we agreed to flight them in with light arms” Machar explains.
“In the end we flew in 1370, and I said well since we were going to implement peace, the rest will be brought later on. So I went to impalement peace in Juba. I did not go to fight war” he continued.