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IGAD lifts travel restrictions imposed against Machar

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South Sudan’s FVP Riek Machar (Reuters photo)

December 21, 2020 (DJIBOUTI) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has lifted travel restrictions imposed on South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar.

The decision, reached during the 38th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the regional bloc (IGAD) held in Djibouti on Sunday, implies that the South Sudanese opposition leader is now free to travel to any of the IGAD member states.

The summit mainly discussed ongoing regional peace and security initiatives.

“[The Assembly Heads of State and Government] underscored that currently there are no travel restrictions of any kind imposed by IGAD on the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Dr Riek Machar Teny,” partly reads a communique issued at the end of the summit.

The IGAD member countries are Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea.

Meanwhile, regional leaders attending the summit congratulated the South Sudan’s transitional government of national unity and the parties for “commendable progress” made in the implementation of the revitalised agreement on resolution of the country’s conflict.

The summit further applauded the progress made in the formation of state and local government structures, in particular the appointment of nine out of the 10 state governors, as well as the agreement on the allocation of positions at state and county levels.

The meeting, convened by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan, also Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly, was attended by Presidents Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Mohamed Abdullahi (Somalia), Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, South Sudan’s Vice President, Nyandeng and Uganda’s envoy to Djibouti, Ambassador Rebecca Otengo.

(ST)

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