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Machar discharged from Khartoum hospital: aides

Machar cover
Khartoum, Sudan | AFP | 

South Sudan’s former rebel leader Riek Machar has been discharged from hospital in Khartoum after being treated for a swollen leg, his aides told AFP on Friday.

Machar was replaced by Taban Deng Gai as South Sudan’s first vice president after hundreds of people died in Juba last month in clashes between Machar’s forces and government troops.

On Tuesday, the Sudanese government announced that Machar had arrived in Khartoum for “medical treatment”, but did not elaborate.

“He has been discharged,” Manasseh Zindo, a senior aide from Machar’s party SPLM/A (IO), told AFP.

Another party aide, Sabiet Majok, said Machar had been discharged on Friday morning.

“His condition has improved. His leg has improved. Basically, what we know is that his leg had swollen due to long-distance walking,” Zindo said.

Following last month’s deadly fighting in Juba, Machar escaped to the Democratic Republic of Congo before travelling to Khartoum.

On Tuesday, Sudan said that when Machar arrived in the capital that he needed “immediate medical treatment”.

“He’s in good health now, but he will stay in Khartoum for some more days,” Majok said.

He said Machar plans to meet President Omar al-Bashir, and also to hold a press conference.

Majok said Machar soon plans to travel to Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda and Kenya — the other member countries apart from Sudan of East African trading and security bloc IGAD.

After a 1983-2005 civil war, the mainly Christian south of Sudan split from the Muslim north on July 9, 2011, following a referendum six months earlier.

But in December 2013, a brutal civil war erupted in the world’s youngest country between supporters of President Salva Kiir and Machar, after Kiir accused his deputy of plotting a coup.

Ties between Khartoum and Juba have been strained since then amid allegations that Sudan backs Machar in the civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than two million from their homes.

The civil war in South Sudan has split the country along ethnic lines and driven it to the brink of collapse.

A peace deal signed between the government and rebels almost a year ago has so far failed to end the conflict.

 

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