Pretoria/Juba, December 14, 2016 (SSNA) — South African government has denied media reports of alleged house arrest of former South Sudanese vice president and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar.
In a statement issued today, South Africa says it is concerned with some media reports which claimed the government of South Africa has placed Dr. Machar under house arrest.
“Indeed, Dr Riek Machar is still in South Africa and the South African Government is taking care of him, given his profile,” the statement reads in part.
“South Africa wishes to reiterate her commitment to continue to work with the Government and the people of South Sudan in search of peace, stability and development. South Africa does this through her participation in the IGAD Plus mechanism, as well as the inter-party political dialogue which is facilitated by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Chama Cha Mapinduzi of the United Republic of Tanzania,” the statement further explained.
Unsubstantiated reports claimed Machar is under house arrest in South Africa and that his movement and communications are being restricted and monitored. Some reports also alleged that he was arrested because South African government doesn’t want him to cause troubles in the war-torn South Sudan.
A senior rebel official calls the reports “groundless,” adding “those who fear Machar should not waste their time fabricating self-serving news.”
The armed opposition leader fled Juba in July when government troops tried to assassinate him.