Top official Says South Sudan is persuading regional neighbors to Isolate Riek Machar

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A top South Sudan official said the country will soon start to engage regional neighbors in a move to persuade them to distance from embattled opposition leader Riek Machar.

South Sudanese presidential adviser on security Tut Kew Gatluak said they are working to ensure that deposed Machar, now in Khartoum does not use neighboring territories for hostile activities.

“The region should not accept to allow him use any country as launching pad to derail implementation of the peace agreement. He and his group should be denied any safe haven if they refuse to denounce violence” Gatluak said.

Machar fled Juba following days of heavy fighting between forces loyal to him and those of president Salva Kiir on July 8, 2016 at a presidential palace where both were expected to attend a close door meeting. Over 300 people are estimated to have been killed in the fighting.

Aides said he trekked over 200 kilometers of evade advancing government troops that had launched an offensive to hunt him down and kill him into Democratic Republic of Congo.

Machar who reportedly sustained severe foot injuries has been undergoing special medical attention in Sudanese capital Khartoum. He was released yesterday and currently at a private residence.

Gatluak said Juba commends the region for responding to its concerns in regard to the deployment of a third party protection force as proposed by the UN Security Council. South Sudan has been on a diplomatic mission to persuaded the region against the move.

“As the government we appreciate the way the countries in the region have responded to our views on the resolution of the united nation security council. There are countries which are seeing the logic in our reservations and have indicated readiness to support engagement with the United Nations, the region and the international community”, He told Sudan Tribune.

He said that through the same spirit, regional neighbors should listen their appeal and deny Machar space to organize an uprising against the peace of South Sudan.

“We also want these countries in the region to go beyond understanding our position on the resolution of the Security Council to include commitment to denying those who would not be ready to cooperate in the implementation of the agreement any support. Such people should not be given safe haven”.

He said president Kiir’s longtime rival must instead be persuaded by regional bodies to denounce violence and return to country as normal citizen

“The region should persuade Riek Machar and his group to denounce violence and encourage them to play a positive role in the implementation of peace agreement”, said the aide.

Credit: Sudan Tribune