We Have Already Approved Machar’s Release —South Sudan Minister

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South Sudan’s cabinet approved IGAD’s decision to relocate rebel leader Riek Machar from detention in South Africa, the country’s information minister Micheal Makuei said.

“The report was good and it was adopted and passed,” said South Sudan’s Information Minister and Government Spokesman after a cabinet meeting.

IGAD, at the forefront of South Sudan peace negotiations said in a March report that Machar should be released from house arrest as soon as possible on condition he renounces violence, amid signs of mounting diplomatic pressure on the Juba government.

Machar, who has been held in South Africa since late 2016, should “be allowed to relocate to any country outside the region and not neighboring South Sudan”, read a statement issued after a meeting from the eight countries in the bloc.

Makuei said the Council of Ministers of the regional bloc, Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), had decided to send a ministerial delegation to South Africa to discuss with South Sudan’s rebel chief to renounce violence before his relocation to another country.

The outspoken minister further said the prominent opposition leader will be relocated and allowed to take part in the peace process when he accepts to renounce violence.

South Sudanese rebels have recently warned the region that they will never accept their leader relocates to another country after his release from house arrest in South Africa.

Machar’s deputy Henry Odwar said they have never obstructed the peace process in South Sudan.