Riek Machar, the deposed first vice president of South Sudan has left the country to ‘‘a safe country within the region.’‘
This was contained in a statement released by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on Wednesday. Machar who is Chairman and commander-in-chief of the SPLM/SPLMA quit the country following a botched attempt to assassinate him and abrogate the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), the statement added.
Even though the statement would not mention his exact location, it disclosed that Machar would address the press on Thursday.
statement from SPLM saying Riek Machar has left South Sudan & is in a safe country in the region pic.twitter.com/8bv9cySlmJ— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) August 18, 2016
Describing Machar as the ‘legitimate’ first vice president, the statement said, the party was committed to the implementation of the ARCISS and the adoption of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2304 ‘‘as a necessary precondition for the return of the legitimate FVP to Juba and the return to the implementation of the ARCISS in letter and spirit.’‘
Machar left Juba after renewed clashes between his forces and those of President Salva Kiir claimed over 300 lives and led to the fighters loyal to the former rebel leader fleeing the city. The fighting has resulted in a humanitarian crisis with people abandoning the city for fear of a return to war.
President Kiir relieved Machar of his post as vice president and appointed the Mines minister, Taban Deng Gai as first vice president in the interim government. Taban Deng is a former chief negotiator of the SPLM/A – IO in the August peace deal, which was being brokered by the IGAD-Plus countries.