Dec 21, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has denied reports speculating that the country’s First Vice-President, Dr. Riek Machar, is still under “house arrest” in the capital, Juba.
In a statement issued on Sunday following the 38th Extraordinary Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government, the East African regional bloc that brokered the South Sudan peace agreement confirmed that the opposition leader, Dr. Riek Machar, is free to travel anywhere in the world
“The Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government underscored that currently there are no travel restrictions of any kind imposed by IGAD on the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar Teny,” the IGAD said in a communique issued on Sunday.
Regarding the implementation of the peace agreement, the IGAD commends the South Sudanese leaders for having achieved an important milestone in implementing outstanding issues.
“The Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government acknowledged the milestones achieved through the Rome Initiative towards engaging the non-signatory groups to the peace process in South Sudan and the need to bring the talks and the negotiating parties closer to the people of South Sudan,” the statement added.
Despite being part of the coalition government, Machar has been in a situation similar to House Hetention, as he is not allowed to travel in and out of the country.
Last month, the SPLA-IO’s top military commanders expressed their frustration and demanded the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to allow Machar to visit his forces and brief them on the status of the agreement.
South Sudan’s government and opposition groups signed the R-ARCSS in September 2018, that marked an end to deadly violence that has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions from their homes.
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