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MACHAR Last communiqué to set him free

By:  Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the SPLM-IO Chief is set to be free after a single communiqué which is still pending according to IGAD.

While responding to SPLM-IO questions at Ashwa Cantonment Site on why IGAD was still keeping Dr. Machar hostage even when the peace was signed, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan said Dr. Riek Machar was free to move though the last communiqué was pending.

On Wednesday during handing over ceremony of Wash facilities by Japan and IGAD at Ashwa Cantonment Site, SPLM-IO soldiers accused IGAD for

Being bias and behind Dr. Machar’s detention even after when peace was signed.

“You the IGAD people take side. Why did I say that? It is because IGAD is detaining Dr. Machar under house arrest for no reason,” Brig. Gen. John Junubi Otai Tabe said while questioning Dr. Wais on why Machar was under detention.   

“Machar was chased from Juba up to Congo, from Congo, he was taken to Khartoum and IGAD sent him to South Africa under house arrest. Why? he questioned.

Brig. Gen Junubi asked IGAD to pronounce charges leveled against Machar for his detention.

But, in response, Amb Dr. Ismail Wais, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan stated that Dr. Riek Machar’s movement was not restricted though people were thinking that he is under house arrest.

“I was sitting with your leader Dr. Machar on Wednesday in Juba for two hours. So he is free to move.  But it is only one communiqué which is missing and that’s all,” Amb. Dr. Wais explained.

Amb Dr. Wais added that though the final communiqué was missing, he revealed that it does not prohibit Dr. Machar from movement.   

“This does not stop him from doing his work as we talk to you now in Ashwa. Last month, he was in Addis Ababa participating in IGAD Council of Ministers’ meeting and Summit. He was in Rome to attend the Retreat by the Vatican. He was in Entebbe, Kampala meeting with other leaders and he is now in Juba,” he stated.

“As you think, he is not in confinement. He is free to move and he can go wherever he wants to go and live after that communiqué,” he reiterated.  

According to Dr. Wais, it was also high time that IGAD determine Dr. Machar’s status early.

“It is true that IGAD has to do something. But IGAD is also you who are sitting here (referring to soldiers at the cantonment site). You were mentioning that government of South Sudan normally attends IGAD meeting whether it is a summit or Council of Ministers meeting. Why? He asked.

“This is because South Sudan is a part of the Region. So IGAD can only help you if you are ready to help your self. If you are not ready to help your self then no body on earth can help you,” Amb. Dr. Wais stated.

He disputed that the soldiers accusation that IGAD was biased for keeping Machar’s in confinement.

“I want you (soldiers) to understand that Dr. Machar is not a hostage of IGAD. IGAD has no interest to be partial in this process. As mediators, we cannot reach a result if we are not neutral because nobody will trust us and listen to us if we are such,” he concluded.  

Brig. Gen. Okeny George M. Lam, Ashwa Cantonment Division Commander for SPLM-IO stated that IGAD was supposed to do something in time to Dr. Machar to be free as soon as possible.

“Dr. Machar’s detention is one of the factors hindering the implementation of the peace agreement. It is good that you said one communiqué is missing. So we request again that we hope in the next coming days during the IGAD Council of Ministers meeting, that last communiqué may be issued during the time,” he said.

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