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Security Forces Detained Riek Machar for more than Four Hours

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South Sudanese rebels leader, Riek Machar, was detained for more than four hours at the Bole International Airport on Sunday and was deported back to South Africa, DireTube has learnt.

A rebel spokesman who talked to DireTube said Ethiopian security forces thought Machar was travelling to his base in Pagak and detained him briefly.

Another senior rebel official confirmed this to the Sudan Tribune by saying Machar was stopped by the Ethiopian authorities upon his arrival from South Africa at Bole International Airport and was forced later to board another flight back to Johannesburg.

The rebel official, who preferred anonymity, said the rebel leader was heading to the SPLM-IO headquarters in Pagak near the Ethiopian border.

Machar was detained at the airport in Addis Ababa for four and half hours and was later advised either to board back to South Africa or risk being deportation to Juba.

Last October, the deposed first vice president left Khartoum to South Africa to for medical treatment.

James Morgan, South Sudan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, said he has heard of the detention of Riek Machar but couldn’t confirm it. “We are also hearing what you are hearing,” the Ambassador told DireTube. “I didn’t also communicate with them [Ethiopian officials] because Riek Machar is not inside the South Sudanese territory.

For everything that happens to him outside of South Sudan, I can’t say anything about it.”