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South Sudan government approves IGAD’s decision to lift Machar’s house arrest.

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South Sudan government on Friday accepted and approved the relocation of the former First Vice President Riek Machar from his South African apartment to a third country outside the region.

In a weekly cabinet meeting held on Friday, the government approved a report on the Intergovernmental Development’s (IGAD) decision to relocate rebel leader Riek Machar from house arrest in South Africa to third country “outside the region”.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting, South Sudan’s information minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the government has adopted the report.

“The report was good and it was adopted and passed” he said.

 Makuei added that the Council of Ministers of the regional bloc, the IGAD, had decided to send a high-level ministerial delegation to South Africa to discuss with South Sudan’s Machar to try to convince him to renounce violence before the IGAD approve his relocation to another country.
Makuei added that Machar will only be allowed to take part in the current peace process if he accept to renounce violence.

Late last month, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in its 61st Extra-ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia decided to lift Machar’s house arrest in South Africa under the condition that the later renounce violence. The IGAD added that Machar will then be relocated to a third country outside the region and said the regional body will soon suggest a country in implementation of the planned relocation.

For their part, South Sudan’s rebels, SPLM-IO under Machar, warned the region that they will not accept their leader to relocates to another country after his release from the South African apartment where he is currently confined.

Angelina Teny, Machar’s wife and the group’s Chairman of the National Committee for Security and Defense dismissed IGAD’s condition as baseless last month saying their group has already signed the cessation of hostilities agreement with the government, something he said shows group’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

– nyamile

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