IGAD says Riek Machar can now move freely
South Sudan opposition leader Dr Riek Machar is to be released from house arrest soon in order to enhance his participation in efforts with President Salva Kiir aimed at forming a transitional unity government in February 2020.
Dr Machar’s continued incarceration in Khartoum, Sudan, has been one of the key grievances against the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), the eastern Africa security body.
Igad imposed restrictions on Dr Machar soon after war broke in Juba in 2016, prompting him to escape to the Democratic Republic of Congo and later to South Africa for treatment.
In 2018, he was allowed to stay in Sudan from where he participated in negotiations that culminated in the Revitalised Peace Agreement that September.
His party, SPLM-IO has argued that keeping Dr Machar under close watch after the peace agreement was signed signalled lack of goodwill from Igad.