South Sudan embattled opposition leader Riek Machar has rubbished the recent decision by the government of his rival president Salva Kiir to declare him persona non grata in the world’s youngest nation.
Government spokesman Michael Makuei said Friday that a political ban has been slapped on the ‘rebel leader’ following his call for armed resistance against President Kiir.
Makuei said that Machar will not be allowed to talk politics in South Sudan noting that the nation was initiating a forced for him asylum in a country of his choice.
Speaking to Nigeria’s TVC News, Machar said he was not in South Africa for asylum as reported earlier but was there for diplomatic and routine medical checkup and will be returning to live in the rebel controlled areas in South Sudan.
“The right to request for asylum is an individual right” Machar said.
Adding that “I lead the SPLM/A-IO, which is a political-military movement and it controls a lot of areas in South Sudan and I believe nearly half of the areas are controlled by this movement; I have to administer it, there is no reason why I should go for political asylum, I can live in South Sudan”
Machar reiterated that the August 2015 peace agreement signed after 20 months of a brutal civil war collapsed during the July clashes.
He said he will continue to live in the rebel controlled areas until the regional neighbors and partners including IGAD, African Union et al work on resuscitating the peace agreement.