(Adds confirmation that Machar is in S.Africa)
NAIROBI Oct 13 South Sudanese opposition leader
Riek Machar is in South Africa to receive medical treatment, his
spokesman and officials in Pretoria said on Thursday, after the
former vice president fled fighting that erupted in the South
Sudanese capital in July.
Machar initially travelled through the bush from South Sudan
to Democratic Republic of Congo, sustaining a leg injury on the
way after an aide said his group had been pursued by forces
loyal to his rival, President Salva Kiir.
From Congo, Machar travelled to Sudan where he also received
medical care. "He is now in South Africa for medical treatment,"
his Nairobi-based spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Reuters,
adding that he was likely to stay there for about a week.
He did not say where he would go afterwards.
Clayson Monyela, spokesman for South Africa's foreign
affairs department, said Machar arrived in the country on
Wednesday on a private visit for medical reasons.
"Consultations were held with the Government of South Sudan
regarding the visit of Dr Riek Machar to South Africa," Monyela
said in a statement. "His period of stay in the country is not
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has been
involved in talks to secure peace in South Sudan.
Political rivalry between Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and Machar,
a Nuer, sparked a civil war that has often followed ethnic
A peace deal was signed in 2015, but it proved shaky from
the outset and fierce fighting flared in Juba in July this year,
just weeks after Machar had returned to resume his post as vice
Clashes have broken out elsewhere in South Sudan since then,
raising concerns about a return to all-out conflict.
(Additional reporting by James Macharia in Johannesburg;
writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)