The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) criticized the South Sudanese Ambassador to Khartoum after threatening to send opposition leader Riek Machar back into exile in South Africa.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, SPLM-IO’s deputy spokesman Manawa Peter Gatkuoth said that Ambassador Mayen Dut Wol, who is also a member of the government negotiating team, said during a meeting that Machar would be sent back into exile in South Africa if the SPLM-IO team at the peace talks in Khartoum does not concede some powers of the first vice president.

The opposition official further said they had sent a protest letter to the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan Ismail Wais over the matter, while accusing the South Sudanese diplomat of reckless comments that could jeopardize the ongoing peace process.

“These are irresponsible comments and could spoil the ongoing peace and reconciliation efforts in South Sudan,” he said.

However, Manawa said they are still committed to negotiate in Khartoum to bring peace and stability in the country.

For his part, Stephen Par Kuol, head of the SPLM-IO foreign affairs committee said in a protest letter that intimidating utterance by Ambassador Mayen Wol violates the spirit of what has been achieved in Khartoum.

The opposition official has demanded a formal apology from the South Sudanese government official after threatening to send Machar back into exile when South Sudan parties reached a deadlock at the peace talks.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Special Envoy to South Sudan Ismail Wais has not yet responded to the SPLM-IO letter of protest. Sources say Ismail Wais might not respond to letter because the matter was a light one to deserve any response.

SPLM-IO chief Riek Machar was moved to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum from South Africa to participate in the ongoing peace talks.