August 19, 2016 (JUBA) - United Nations headquarters in New York has revealed that its peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo airlifted the former First Vice President, Riek Machar, from the South Sudan-DRC border and transported him into the interior part of Congo on Wednesday.
The UN said the Congolese government has been taking care of the opposition leader who is “exhausted” after five weeks in the bushes around the capital, Juba, and walking towards the DRC border.
The UN spokesperson, Farah Haq, said in a daily briefing to journalists in New York on Thursday that Machar was located in the border of South Sudan and DR Congo by the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
“We have undergone an extraction operation and so he is currently in the care of the authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said Haq in New York on Wednesday.
He said Machar was "treated" by the MONUSCO for illness he did not disclose. He said Machar’s wife and ten other military generals have been given to the care of DR Congo government.
Machar’s officials said their leader is doing fine but had “exhausted” from being in the wilderness for 40 days, walking on foot.
They said he will speak to the media in the next few days as he establishes contacts with leaderships of IGAD, AU and UN. The opposition leader whom they also consider as the legitimate first vice president in South Sudan is also expected to tour the IGAD member countries to share views on the way forward.
He fled Juba last month following street battle which started at the palace on 8 July and in his residence on 10 July between his small number of troops and huge number of forces loyal to President Salva Kiir.
- Machar speaks on a mobile phone after an interview with Reuters in Kenya’s capital Nairobi July 8, 2015