S Sudan rebel leader heads to SA 'for medical tests'

2016-10-12 09:10
Riek Machar (File: AFP)

Riek Machar (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Khartoum - South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar, a pariah for the West since his call last month for renewed civil war, headed to South Africa for medical check-ups on Wednesday, an AFP correspondent reported.

In what he billed as his first media appearance since he fled the South Sudanese capital Juba as fresh fighting flared in July, Machar said that his stay in South Africa would be temporary and that he would leave after the tests.

"I am leaving the country now for South Africa to have medical tests and after that I will leave South Africa," he told reporters at Khartoum airport without specifying where.

Machar gave no details of his medical condition but spoke of the travails of his flight from South Sudan.

"I walked on foot until I reached the jungles of (Democratic Republic of) Congo and it took me 37 days," he said.

He said that it was only with the help of regional governments and the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC that he had reached medical help in Khartoum.

Fresh clashes 

He was discharged from hospital in Khartoum on August 26 after being treated for a swollen leg, aides said at the time.

The Sudanese authorities said they had admitted Machar because he needed "immediate medical treatment".
Khartoum was a longtime backer of Machar during the two-decade war that led to South Sudan's independence in 2011.

Machar led a breakaway faction that fought the mainstream pro-independence rebels and received arms from the Sudanese military.

He broke again with the Juba government in 2013, sparking a devastating civil war in which allegations of gang rape, cannibalism and mass killings of civilians were widespread.

He returned to Juba earlier this year under a hard-won peace deal but it broke down in July when fresh clashes broke out between his ethnic Nuer supporters and the mainly Dinka troops of the government.

After his escape into exile in Khartoum, Machar last month urged "a popular armed resistance" against his rival President Salva Kiir's government.

On Thursday, the European Union, Norway, the United States and the United Kingdom, together with Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, issued a joint statement condemning "calls by opposition leaders for a renewal of armed conflict".

"Further fighting will not solve South Sudan's pressing political and economic challenges. It will only increase the suffering of South Sudan's people, worsen a grave humanitarian crisis, and further inflame ethnic tensions."

Read more on:    riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  sa  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.