Khartoum, July 14, 2019 (SSNA) — The leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) Dr. Riek Machar has been placed under a systematic house confinement in neighboring Sudan, a senior SPLM/A-IO official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter and has full knowledge of the case told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) on Sunday.
The revelation, according to the source, comes as government and armed opposition continue to disagree over key provisions of the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement.
The official blasts unnamed some East Africa leaders who he accuses of systematically working for President Salva Kiir to further prolong the civil war.
“Our leader [Machar] is technically under house arrest here in Khartoum. But if you ask IGAD leaders, some of them will say he is free to go anywhere or country he wants. They did that in March this year when we asked if our leader is allowed to attend April spiritual retreat in the Vatican. It is, however, clear to us now Dr. Machar is not allowed to travel to any country of his choice,” the visibly furious armed opposition official explains.
“Basically, they want him to attend only peace-related talks, let alone visiting his forces,” the official complains.
The South Sudan News Agency has evidence showing that in early April 2019, Machar wrote a letter to the IGAD asking them to allow him to attend the Vatican spiritual retreat. The SSNA also understands that the Ethiopia government as the chair of the IGAD responded to Machar’s letter, saying he was free to travel to the Vatican or anywhere.
During the interview, the official further revealed to the SSNA that IGAD keeps telling Machar that his status “is not yet determined” and that they keep promising him that they will decide his status.