Sudan Confirms Wounded Machar In Country To Receive Treatment
Riek Machar, who was sacked as South Sudan’s vice-president last month, is in Sudan to receive “urgent medical attention”, the state news agency says.
Sudan is hosting Machar on “purely humanitarian grounds”, it said.
Machar has not been seen in public since July’s clashes between his supporters and those of President Salva Kiir which killed some 300 people.
South Sudan has suffered more than two years of civil war, since gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.
Riek Machar’s condition was now “stable” and he would “stay in Khartoum under full medical supervision until he leaves… for a destination of his choice,” the Sudan News Agency (Suna) said.
The Kenyan Standard news website on Thursday reported that the Sudanese government had sent an aircraft to evacuate the former first vice president from a hideout in a remote town in the DRC where he crossed into after 40 days in the bushes. It added that a wounded Machar was handed over to Congolese and Sudanese officials at Isiro who flew in from Kinshasa, DRC’s capital. A transport plane from Khartoum carrying commandos and a top official landed at Isiro airstrip. Initially, UN officials in Nairobi and the peacekeeping mission in DRC, MONUSCO denied knowledge of the rescue which was reported by The Standard on Thursday before Machar’s spokesman James Gatdet Dak also admitted the former VP had fled into DRC.
He was reportedly seeking treatment for his eye by the time of his evacuation and plans were underway to fly him to South Africa.
This month, the UN authorised a 4,000-strong African protection force for Juba with a more robust mandate than the 12,000 UN soldiers already in the country.
But South Sudan’s government said it opposed the deployment and it is not clear how the mission can go ahead without its co-operation.