The United Nations facilitated the fleeing of embattled former South Sudan First Vice President Riek Machar to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak, his boss was airlifted from South Sudan by the UN mission in the DRC, MONUSCO, which had liaised with DRC President Joseph Kabila.
‘The First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO), thanked the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or MONUSCO, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), under the leadership of His Excellency President Joseph Kabila, for their hospitality by airlifting him and his officials from the South Sudan-DRC border and for taking good care of him and his officials in the DRC,’ Gatdet Dak wrote in a statement issued earlier today.
Gatdet Dak said Dr. Machar and his troops had braved the jungles for 40 days before the assistance rendered to him came forth, adding that the former FVP would ‘soon’ contact parties that were instrumental in signing of the peace deal in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last August.
‘Despite being “exhausted” after staying in the bushes and walking on foot for 40 days, he is very fine and he has assured that he will soon speak to the media in the next few days, and particularly as he is establishing contacts with the leaderships of IGAD, AU and the UN to communicate his views on the current situation in the peace process. He will soon be on visit to IGAD member countries in the region,’ Gatdet Dak added.
According to the statement, Dr. Machar also issued a ‘congratulatory message to the gallant forces of the SPLA-IO who have fought successfully in self-defence since July 8, 2016, attack by President Salva Kiir’s forces in the attempt to murder him at the Presidential Palace in Juba’.