The South African government has allowed to host former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar, who fled his country after falling out with President Salva Kiir.
The development comes in the wake of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta failing to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York, ostensibly to address prickly regional political matters, including the resettlement of Machar.
According to President Kenyatta’s Communications chief Manoah Esipisu, the President stayed home to follow up on the recent decisions adopted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in relation to the shaky political situations in Somalia and South Sudan.
‘Following the Igad meeting in Mogadishu, Somalia last week, there are a series of follow-up sessions that His Excellency needs to personally attend, given that Kenya is a senior player in the region alongside Ethiopia,’ Mr Esipisu was quoted as saying.
He added: ‘Two, there is the delicate issue of where (former South Sudan vice President) Riek Machar should be placed. Currently he is holed up in Khartoum but there are ongoing deliberations, and very delicate ones for that matter, on where he should be eventually resettled. As you know, South Africa has agreed to take him in but there is a feeling that other options be looked into. That is why it was felt that His Excellency’s involvement in these matters is very essential’.
According to Mr Esipisu, Deputy President William Ruto will represent his boss at the UNGA.
Somalia and South Sudan are currently experiencing upheavals, with the latter enduring a two year civil war that has seen tens of thousands dead and over one million people displaced.
Similarly, Somalia has been endured over two decades of instability, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee.