Machar changes military base location outside Juba after clashes

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Machar and Kiir were reported to have been in a meeting last week when fighting started.

July 13, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s First Vice President, Riek Machar, has changed location of his military base and residential area after they came under sustained ground and air attacks for days as they battled forces loyal to President Salva Kiir outside the national capital, Juba.

His spokesperson has confirmed to Sudan Tribune that their forces who had been stationed behind Jebel Kujur, about 5 kilometres southwest of Juba town, including Site 2, had relocated but have remained within the vicinity of Juba.

“Yes, they have relocated the base, but they have remained within the vicinity of Juba area,” said James Gatdet Dak on Wednesday.

He said the decision was to avoid further violence with forces loyal to President Salva Kiir after the declaration of ceasefire on Monday evening.

This also came after Machar’s residence near his base was also targeted and bombed with helicopter gunships, destroying it. He was not however hurt as his official said he was not inside the house at the time of the bombing.

Dak however said his boss has remained committed to the peace agreement and ordered his forces to respect the cessation of hostilities he declared on Monday.

The opposition leader’s spokesperson also added that their side proposed the need to deploy a third party force which should create a buffer zone between the two rival forces in order to ensure there is no return to violence.

The third party force, he said, was preferable the current peace keepers of the United Nations in South Sudan (UNMISS), but added that other countries could contribute forces as long as they would be under the UNMISS mandate and command.

He also said the security arrangements for Juba and other major towns in the country should be reviewed and operationalized to ensure restoration of security.

He denied reports that Machar was returning to the bush in the same way he did in December 2013 when he was chased out of Juba by President Kiir’s forces.

Please see Sudan Tribune

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