S SUDAN: Government Urges Neighbor Countries not to let Machar Launch Rebellion

JUBA SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 (CISA) – South Sudan’s government has urged Sudan and regional states not to let opposition leader Riek Machar launch a new rebellion following his threats to return to the battlefield unless his demands were met.

“We are appealing to all IGAD member state not to allow Riek Machar and his group to use their soil, including Sudan, to stage attacks and as a springboard for organizing violence against the people and transitional government,” deputy government spokesman Akol Paul Kordi told Reuters September 27.

Machar is in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, having fled South Sudan after fighting flared between his supporters and those of his rival President Salva Kiir in July.

The two had signed a peace deal in 2015 after two years of conflict. After talks in Khartoum involving senior commanders and officials in the SPLM-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) last week, Machar and his allies in a statement ordered their forces to reorganize for “armed resistance” to President Kiir’s government.

“If the peace agreement can be revived then we can go back to Juba, but if not then armed resistance is an option,” Machar’s spokesman James Gatdet Dak said in a statement. Dak further added that the government must reappoint Machar, let more troops return to Juba with Machar, allow the swift deployment of a regional protection force and scrap decisions taken since July.

Pointing to splits in the opposition however, government spokesman Kordi said the SPLM-IO faction in Juba had sacked Machar and the former vice president had no right to make demands on the Juba government from Sudan as “he is in Khartoum as a private citizen.”

The regional grouping IGAD, which includes Sudan, has told both sides to halt the violence and aims to send a protection force to secure the peace, a move that has UN backing.

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