South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar who left Juba a couple of months ago is being held in Pretoria, South Africa in an effort to stop him from fueling conflicts S. Sudan.
Keeping Machar under house arrest has been termed by political analysts as trick for the world’s youngest nation citing that he has his own loyal soldiers that could sway a conflict towards genocide.
Renewed conflict erupted late in 2013 when Salva Kiir, South Sudan’s President sacked his deputy, Riek Machar, the leader of rebel SPLA-IO faction.
Kiir comes from Dinka ethnic community while Machar hails from Nuer. The conflict which has escalated over time has seen over a million people fled South Sudan and seek refuge from the neighbouring countries including Kenya and Uganda.
According to a political consultant in South Africa, Machar was basically under house arrest near Pretoria with his movements restricted and phone calls controlled and monitored.
However, South Africa’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela downpalyed Machar as being held against his will, describing him instead as a "guest" of Pretoria as South Africa tried to prevent the civil war sliding into genocide.