EXCLUSIVE: First Photos of Wounded Machar Emerge
Images of wounded former South Sudan First Vice President, Riek Machar have leaked to us.
Machar, who was sacked as South Sudan’s vice-president last month, is in Sudan to receive “urgent medical attention.” He was airlifted from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
President Salva Kiir sacked Machar from his post as vice president after renewed fighting in South Sudan’s capital Juba last month between forces loyal to the long-time rivals. The clashes forced tens of thousands of people to flee.
Machar withdrew to the bush during the fighting in Juba and was picked up this month by U.N. peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of Congo with a leg injury. His spokesman earlier said Machar had left South Sudan to evade Kiir’s forces and had said his injury was not serious enough to require medical attention. However, on Tuesday, Sudan said he was receiving treatment.
In one of the photos, Machar is carried on what appears to be a stretcher away from a UN helicopter with the help of a group of soldiers in the company of his wife. Another picture shows Machar on a hospital bed.
Before the pictures emerged, Machar had not been seen in public since July’s clashes between his supporters and those of President Salva Kiir which killed some 300 people raising speculation that he could have been taken out in the fighting.
South Sudan has suffered more than two years of civil war, since gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.