South Sudan: SPLM/IO Concerned about Machar Being Sidelined from International Engagements

The Sudan People`s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/IO) has said it is concerned about the outfit’s leader, First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, not being delegated by President Salva Kiir to represent the country at international events.

Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, the deputy chairperson of the SPLM/IO who is also the First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, said that their leader has never traveled out of the country in the past three years while the other vice presidents and ministers travel for international conferences and even treatment.

“The unanswered question is why the vice president who acts in the absence of the president, whether he (president) is in or outside the country, cannot be delegated to represent the president,” he said.

“Why he has not been able to move beyond Juba,” Oyet further wondered.

“The furthest Riek Machar went could be Kator Church. For two or three years now, he (Machar) has not moved outside the country.”

“When he is sick, he does his treatment in Juba while ministers and vice presidents go for medical checkups and treatment outside the country,” he added.

The deputy speaker said Dr. Machar’s lack of travel outside of Juba portrays a lack of trust by President Kiir’s SPLM and it leaves citizens and the international community with a lot of questions about if the two leaders’ working relationship is genuine.

“All these compounds the level of lack of confidence in what we say to the world. The world hears what we say, we are now implementing the peace agreement and we are now working together but they see different dispositions,” Deputy Speaker Oyet said. “The citizens are also seeing and they are questioning and we are failing to give an answer. Even now I am failing to give an answer.”

“I am thinking aloud because the answer rests with one man who is the President who is the chairman of the SPLM in government,” he added.

Koch Madut