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Kenya, Uganda complicating Machar’s release – IGAD source

Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni

December 3rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The governments of Kenya and Uganda are complicating the release of the SPLM-IO chairman Dr. Riek Machar who has been under what the main armed opposition group said is an “illegal” detention, an IGAD source said on Tuesday.

Machar has been under a forced house confinement since the collapse of a 2015 peace agreement in July 2016. Fighting had taken place between a small group of Machar’s guards and a well-armed force belonging to President Salva Kiir at the state house J1.

After days of fighting and failed ceasefire attempts, Machar was forced to leave Juba and ran toward the Congolese border where United Nations operatives extracted him to DRC Congo and then to the Sudanese capital Khartoum on humanitarian grounds.

He later moved to South Africa on his own where he was set for a detention which would remain in place three years on.

In 2018, as revitalization of the 2015 peace agreement was taking place, Machar’s cell was moved to Khartoum where he would hold peace talks with President Salva Kiir Mayardit leading to a revitalized peace deal signed in Addis Ababa on November 12th.

Following the signing of the agreement, the United Nations, United States and several regional powers urged the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional bloc which mediated the peace agreement, determine Machar’s final status.

His release has also been a central part of demands by the SPLM in achieving peace to the world’s youngest nation.

A meeting of the IGAD Heads of State and Government which took place last Friday ended without the issue being addressed instead referring it to the new IGAD Chairman, Abdalla Hamdok, and to be addressed during the upcoming meeting due in Khartoum later this month.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia this morning, a source in Addis Ababa said South Sudan’s neighbors, Kenya and Uganda, are complicating the release of the main armed opposition leader. He said Kenya and Uganda were pursuing agendas that favor the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

“The government of Kenya and the government of Uganda are complicating the release of Dr. Riek Machar,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

“The two countries are pursuing agendas that are favoring and are friendly to the government of South Sudan which is a party to the conflict and which is to blame for the failure of the parties to form the transitional government of national unity on time,” the source added.

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