South Sudan opposition and rebel leader Riek Machar says the sitting government must account for its actions that spurred the July 2016 clashes that led to the fall of the peace agreement.
Speaking to BBC Focus on Africa, Machar who is now in Johannesburg South Africa said the world is shying away from the actions of president Salva Kiir and pushing the blame to him and his organisation SPLM-IO for the ongoing war and violence.
“Why did they send troops (to attack us)?; Why did they attack the American ambassador’s car and sprayed it with hundreds of bullets?, Why is there no accountability?, why did the government attack NGO (UN) compound?” Machar wondered.
“People shy away from telling president Kiir that he has failed the country and then lay blame on others” he said.
Fighting broke out in South Sudanese capital Juba in July 2016 between forces loyal to president Kiir and those loyal to the opposition leader Machar. Hundreds died, forcing over a million to flee the country
Machar’s residence was bombed during the fighting, forcing him to flee into Democratic Republic of Congo then later Khartoum where he underwent medical attention.
The Period of Machar’s deposition came with an number of accusations from government key of which was that he had planned coup, a claim Machar would later vehemently deny.
Asked whether he takes responsibility of the deaths, destruction and displacement of people due to the war and civil unrest, Machar says “…these are my people, I don’t like people dying, I want peace and this has been my attitude all through out”
“We are resisting the onslaught on us and therefore the innocent citizens who may be around may be displaced, some may unnecessarily be killed we can not kill our own population” he added.
South Sudan has declared Machar “unwelcome” in the country following his call to armed resistance against the government of President Kiir.
“He is being exiled. He will not be coming back to South Sudan and he will never be allowed to talk politics any longer,” government spokesperson Micheal Makuei declared