South African President Jacob Zuma slammed Riek Machar, the leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) rebel faction for calling for an armed struggle against the government. Zuma’s remarks came a day before Machar left for treatment in South Africa.
While visiting Kenya on Tuesday the South African president in a joint press conference with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta, said “we condemn the recent call by the SPLM-IO under Dr. Riek Machar for a popular armed resistance against the government in Juba, there is absolutely no need for fighting, further fighting will only exacipate human suffering in South Sudan. We call on Dr. Riek Machar to return to Juba and participate in the transitional government.”
Mr. Kenyatta, however didn’t mention anything about South Sudan and the two leaders declined to comment when asked whether they will freeze assets of IO rebel leaders in their respective countries, particularly those mentioned in the Sentry Report.
Meanwhile, Machar according to media reports claimed he was trying to bring about stability in the country and denied the existence of any other political initiatives at a press conference today in Khartoum before his departure to South Africa.
Machar is known for frequenting South Africa for medical treatment even at the peak of the rebellion.