June 2, 2014

Machar: I am Not In Full Control Of My Forces

Rebel leader Riek Machar.
Rebel leader Riek Machar.

The leader of South Sudanese rebels, Riek Machar, says he is not in full command of his forces, who have been accused of violence in the country.

Machar, the country’s former vice president, admitted on Saturday that he was not in complete control of the forces, but said, “We are hoping we can control them because we are training them and we are disciplining them.”

His forces have been fighting against forces loyal to President Salva Kiir since December 2013, when fighting erupted between the two sides in the capital, Juba. President Kiir accuses Machar of attempting a coup.

Thousands of people have so far been killed and more than one million displaced in the war.

Over 78,000 civilians are presently forced to live in eight UN bases in the country, while many others have fled to neighboring states, particularly Uganda and Ethiopia.

The two sides agreed on a ceasefire in January and again in May. However, the truce has not held. Peace talks are scheduled to be resumed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on June 4.

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