South Sudan’s former VP Riek Machar flees country

South Sudan’s former first vice president Riek Machar has fled the country, his party’s spokesman has revealed.

In a press release published yesterday, the SPLM-IO party said that Machar had fled to a neighbouring East African country, but failed to say which country.

Mabior Garang de Mabior, the party’s National Committee for Information and Public Relations Chairman said in the statement that Machar would hold a press conference in the next 24 hours.

Machar fled the capital Juba last month after his troops clashed with those loyal to President Salva Kiir just outside statehouse, in a gun battle that lasted five days.

Close to 300 people were killed in the violence, with hundreds of thousands fleeing to neighbouring countries.

Kiir gave Machar an ultimatum to return to the capital, which he failed to honor. The president then went ahead and sacked him, replacing him with Taban Deng.

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