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Sudan Tribune

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South Sudanese rebel leader not under house arrest in South Africa: official

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a news conference in Uganda's capital Kampala January 26, 2016 (Reuters photo)
South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a news conference in Uganda’s capital Kampala January 26, 2016 (Reuters photo)

December 15, 2016 (JUBA) – The South African government has dismissed as “nonsensical” media reports that South Sudan rebel leader, Riek Machar is under house arrest in Pretoria.

The South African Government stated that it issued a statement on 13 October announcing the arrival of Machar and purpose of arrival.

“Indeed, Dr Riek Machar is still in South Africa and the South African Government is taking care of him, given his profile”, partly reads a statement issued by the South African department of international relations and cooperation.

The South African government, it said, was in constant consultations with the Government of South Sudan and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) countries about the presence of the rebel leader in South Africa.

“South Africa wishes to reiterate her commitment to continue to work with the Government and the people of South Sudan in search of peace, stability and development”, it further noted in the statement.

It further added, “South Africa does this through her participation in the IGAD Plus mechanism, as well as the inter-party political dialogue which is facilitated by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Chama Cha Mapinduzi of the United Republic of Tanzania”.

Clayson Monyela, an official from the South African department of international relations and cooperation dismissed media reports that South Sudan’s rebel leader was under house arrest.

“What crime has he [Machar] committed to be put under house arrest? This is trash” Monyela told Sudan Tribune on phone from South Africa on Thursday.

He dismissed media that the South Sudanese rebel leader was being held in Pretoria, stressing that he was free to move like any citizen.

(ST)