Machar free to travel, says Baluang

Machar free to travel, says Baluang
First Vice President Dr Riek Machar (photo credit: courtesy)

The Office of the First Vice President Dr Riek Machar has said he is free to travel anywhere thanks to his acquisition of valid travel documents.

Since being sworn in as the country’s second in command in the dispensation of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU), Dr Machar has not travelled outside Juba.

The SPLM/A-IO supremo has been domiciled in the country’s capital, Juba, where he has been undertaking his duties as the opposition leader and the second senior-most leader in the youngest nation.

However, the Director for Information and Public Relations who also serves as the Press Secretary in the Office of the First Vice President, Puok Both Baluang, dispelled fears that Dr Machar may be illegible for a flight beyond the borders.

 Baluang assured that Machar can travel to any country after he regained his diplomatic passport three years ago.

He said his boss has all the necessary legal travel documents, hence, no restriction would clamp his travel mission.

After the outbreak of the conflict in December 2013, the government decided to block Machar’s passport to minimise his movements between countries, but he was able to do so using an Ethiopian passport.

Puok said when the negotiation was going on in Addis Ababa, Dr Machar was granted the Ethiopian passport to facilitate his movement.

He added that after the signing of the revitalised peace agreement in 2018, which subsequently led to his reinstatement as the first vice president, Machar regained his South Sudan diplomatic passport.

A free man

“He is free now to visit any country if he is assigned to go and represent South Sudan in any of the official meetings or any other forum,’’ Baluang said. 

 The spokesperson further said that the FVP has been kept busy with the implementation of the 2018 revitalised peace agreement which has limited his travels so far.

“At the moment, he is here in Juba for the implementation of the peace agreement that why he is not travelling yet,” Baluang said.

“He is to oversee the implementation of the peace agreement and he has no schedule for travel anywhere,” he added.