Rebels launch campaign to end Machar's forced detention in South Africa
South Sudanese rebels abroad have recently launched a social media campaign calling on the international community to end Riek Machar’s forced confinement in South Africa.
The rebel leader has been on forced exile in South Africa since October 2016 when he traveled to Pretoria for medical treatment at the height of renewed fighting in South Sudan.
His forced confinement was reportedly reached by IGAD countries with the involvement of other nations in the hope of preventing renewed fighting in the world’s youngest nation.
SPLA-IO deputy military spokesperson, Lam Paul Gabriel, told radio Tamazuj on Sunday that the campaign was initiated by their political leaders to urge the international community to end Machar’s forced exile in South Africa so that he can be part of the peace process in the country.
Lam stressed that there will not be peace and stability in South Sudan without their leader Riek Machar, saying he is the only person who can declare ceasefire with the Juba government.
Last week, SPLA-IO military spokesman William Gatjiath also said they will reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Salva Kiir in May once IGAD countries end Riek Machar’s exile.
“We are not part of the ceasefire declared by Kiir because it a ceasefire between the government and Taban Deng who claims that he is the leader of SPLA-IO,” said Gatjiath.