Speaking to supporters over the phone from Khartoum, South Sudan’s Former Vice President and the leader of the armed Opposition, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, assures supporters and sympathizers, who organized themselves in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that he is very much alive but the peace agreement is dead.
Machar, who spoke in his native Nuer, narrates how he narrowly escaped death from Juba and walked for 40 days while being heavily pursued to the neighboring DR Congo, where he was airlifted from a border town to the state capital, Kinshasa.
Machar tells gathering that he was hospitalized for 14 days but he has now recovered and has been discharged.
“I’m brought to this country [Sudan] after I was extracted from Congo. I was brought because I was sick. I have been hospitalized for 14 days. Now I’m released” He said.
Regarding the speculations that he and his senior generals were killed, Machar agreed that the fight was brutal but only God saved their lives.
“A lot has been said. They said I was killed, they said I’m dead.” He said.
The run for 40 days, unlike many historical “40 days” events, according to Machar was another work of God. He was heavily pursued both in the air with drones and gunships and on the ground with tanks and other artillery but God saved their lives.
“The war that was fought in Juba, only God saved us and opened our ways. For all the 40 days that we walked in the wilderness, they pursued us, bombing us from above with gunships and attacking us on the ground with tanks but God saved us” Machar said.
Machar further reiterates how his opponents celebrated his death after they captured a few of his belongings that his bodyguards managed to rescue from his residence in Jebel after it was bombed by government helicopters on July 11, 2016.
“When they captured my belongings, they claimed that that was a proof that they killed me, “we killed Riek”, but none of those was true as you can now prove by yourself” Said Machar.
While finalizing his treatment in Khartoum, Machar said he is cooperating with the Sudanese government and friends who offered him treatment to recover and resume his duties.
“As I’m talking to you now, this country has offered to treat me and saved my life to be able to return to my duties” Machar breaks silence on his silence.
“In return, to save them from incarnations and condemnations, they asked me to complete the treatment first and then I can go anywhere to speak out.” he continued.
“I have a lot to say, once I’m out of here and address them somewhere else, I will return to you.” Machar speaks in brief.
“What I want from you right now, I want you to unite your ranks and files, work together under one leadership for you to help our people” He continued.
Machar, who has fought for Self determination and democracy for over 30 years, went on to explain what South Sudanese needs to do right now that the peace agreement has collapsed.