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KAMPALA - 15 Nov 2018

Machar's group planning to relocate its relief office to Juba

Grand Caravan on the Pagak airstrip. PHOTO| JOHN FOX
Grand Caravan on the Pagak airstrip. PHOTO| JOHN FOX

The opposition group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) says it is planning to relocate its humanitarian office to the capital Juba.

Under international pressure, President Salva Kiir, Machar’s SPLM-IO group and other opposition factions in September signed a peace deal, under which opposition chief Riek Machar will again become first vice president.

Moses Gatkuoth Lony, Acting Head of the SPLM-IO Committee for Humanitarian Affairs, told Radio Tamazuj on Thursday that their office will be relocated to Juba and that they will start coordinating the humanitarian and relief work in the capital until the unity government is formed in May 2019.

“Our office will coordinate humanitarian matters from there with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.  We must work together according to the peace agreement,” he said.

“The humanitarian issue now is very important that’s why our leader Dr Riek Machar had issued an order for coordination of humanitarian work in Juba,” he added.

Gatkuoth, a former lawmaker in greater Jonglei, said his humanitarian staff will travel to the capital Juba any time soon. “We had a meeting with the United Nations, so they are aware of the plan. The United Nations said it is important for the parties to coordinate humanitarian activities,” he said.

“For us to remove all hurdles in the humanitarian sector, we need to work together as one team. We still need logistical arrangements for us to be in Juba,” he added.

Meanwhile, the deputy spokesman of the SPLM-IO group Manawa Peter Gatkuoth confirmed that opposition leader Riek Machar had directed the movement’s humanitarian unit to relocate to Juba.