South Sudan conflict: Sacked VP Riek Machar goes into exile

MacharSouth Sudan conflict: Sacked VP Riek Machar goes into exile

South Sudan’s sacked Vice-President Riek Machar has left the country, weeks after his forces were involved in deadly clashes with government troops.

BBC Africa reports that Machar had gone to a neighbouring country, according to his spokesman.

He had initially fled the capital, Juba, during the violence in July, demanding a neutral force be deployed to keep peace and guarantee his safety.

The fighting erupted less than a year after a peace deal was signed to form a unity government and end the civil war.

It was bodyguards for Machar and President Salva Kiir’s presidential guards who fought each other, sparking days of violence in July.

Hundreds of people died and more than 100,000 fled across the border.

Rampaging soldiers are also said to have assaulted and raped women.

The UN has launched an independent investigation into allegations that its peacekeepers failed to respond when government troops attacked a residential compound popular with foreign aid workers last month.

During the attack, a local journalist was shot dead at point-blank range and troops reportedly raped several women, among them foreigners working for relief agencies.

Political differences between Machar and Kiir ignited the civil war in December 2013 – and they only agreed to settle their differences under intense international pressure, signing a peace deal last August.

Machar returned to Juba in April to take up the post of vice-president.

President Kiir dismissed him in the wake of the latest violence.

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