South Africa Offers To Host Riek Machar

South Africa Offers To Host Riek Machar

Riek Machar, the deposed Vice President of South Sudan, may be on his way to South Africa after the country offered to give him refuge,  a leading Kenyan newspaper reports, quoting government spokesman Manoah Episisu.

Machar is in Khartoum after being deposed as vice-president, following violence in the capital, Juba between his forces and those loyal to his rival, President Salva Kiir.

Mr Episisu told the Sunday Nation that Kenya was involved in discussions about where Machar should be exiled and revealed that South Africa had offered to host him.

“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.

He also said that an agreement was reached at the regional Igad meeting, held in Somalia last week, for Kenya to send more troops to Somalia ahead of elections, expected to be held between 24 September and 10 October.

He had been responding to inquiries on why President Uhuru Kenyatta had cancelled plans to travel to New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly meeting.

He said Mr Kenyatta presence was “needed to handle the fast-moving situation in Somalia and South Sudan”.

Deputy President William Ruto will be representing Mr Kenyatta at the UN.