Spokesperson Says Riek Machar is not seeking Asylum in South Africa, He is not going for Refugee

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The spokesperson of South Sudan embattled opposition leader Riek Machar said the faction is not aware and has not been in contact with South Africa to grant the former rebel leader asylum.

Speaking to the media in Nairobi, Kenya Presidential spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said President Uhuru Kenyatta is leading the region in finding the best place for Machar adding that South Africa is ready to accommodate him.

“The delicate issue of where (former South Sudan vice- president) Riek Machar should be placed. Currently he is holed up in Khartoum but there are ongoing deliberations, and very delicate ones for that matter, on where he should be eventually resettled.

“As you know, South Africa has agreed to take him in but there is a feeling that other options be looked into. That is why it was felt that His Excellency’s involvement in these matters is very essential” Esipisu said

Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak said the assertions are not true because the opposition leader is not seeking asylum anywhere.

“Dr. Riek Machar is not going for a refuge. It is a false claim. He is the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO)” He said

Machar who fled Juba following heavy fighting between his forces and those loyal to the countries president Salva Kiir is currently holed up in Sudanese Capital Khartoum.

He was replaced by his chief negotiator in the shuttered peace agreement Taban Deng Gai.

During a diplomatic visit to South Africa Last week, Gai accused his predecessor of being impatient because “he is not waiting for elections… (and) He is seeing himself a parallel president”

Gai told South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa that the country was accelerating the implementation of the peace agreement “because we have no other option than having peace,”