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SPLM-IO decries Dr. Machar’s continued restriction

By William Madouk


Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) echoed that Dr. Riek Machar is still restricted in Juba and cannot travel freely.

Dr. Machar returned in 2019, after signing of the 2018 peace deal and he has since been stuck in the capital, Juba.

SPLM-IO party interim Secretary-General, Regina Joseph, speaking at a press conference yesterday, claimed that her boss is restricted from travelling outside Juba.

“He [Machar] cannot move; he is just in Juba, and when we say there is a need for civic and political space, it is for that,” said Regina.

“When we talk about campaigning, how can you run campaigns when other leaders cannot move? The SPLM-IG can go around and do all sorts of campaigns, but the other parties have no rights to move,” she bemoaned.

Ms. Regina accused SPLM of playing a dirty game by blocking opposition parties from holding power.

Besides, the SPLM-IO party spokesman, Pal Mai Deng, who is also minister of Water Resources, and Irrigation agreed with Regina on Machar’s travelling restriction and appealed for the lifting of the imposed confinement.

“The chair of SPLM-IO has been in Juba for almost five years now, and this is what we have been discussing all around. I remember in 2022, when security forces besieged his house, the SPLM-IO spoke, and I remember the very person who spoke vocally was Hon. Angelina,” stated Mai.

He explained that during the graduation of the first batch of unified forces, the chairman of SPLM-IO delivered a speech on the very day confirming his confinement in Juba.

“So we have got restrictions; we have got restrictions, and the restrictions are not only for the chairman; they are also for other members of the SPLM-IO Party” he continued,

Earlier, Puok Both Baluang, acting press secretary in the office of the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, alleged that President Salva Kiir had been instructed by IGAD not to permit Dr. Machar to leave Juba.

He claimed in a press briefing that Kiir had told the SPLM-IO in a meeting that he received a directive that Dr. Riek was not a free man.

But the Minister of Information and government spokesperson, Michael Makuei, reiterated in September 2023 that Dr. Riek Machar Teny has not been restricted from traveling out of Juba.

Mr. Makuei, in response, said the allegations that Dr. Machar is confined in Juba were not true.

“What I know so far is that he has never been stopped from going anywhere, and if he has decided not to move, it is not our duty to tell him to move” Makuei stated last year.

He advised the SPLM-IO to direct their complaints to the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) if the President could not give them the correct answer to their grievances.

He said that contrary to the requirements of the SPLM-IO, the President cannot travel and attend events either within or outside the country together with his deputy.

Also in rejoinder, the minister for Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, considers the issue to be a misunderstanding of protocol.

Dr. Lomoro stated that it was not possible for the president to travel, for instance, to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) with the first vice president.

Up to the present date, neither IGAD nor RJMEC officials were available to comment on the allegation that Machar’s movements were restrained by their directives.

In August 2022, First Vice President Riek Machar opened up for the first time and said he had been marooned and stuck in the capital, Juba.


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