East Africa’s leaders say South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar is not welcome in their countries except to join peace talks on his country’s five-year civil war.
A communique after heads of state and government met in neighboring Ethiopia says Machar should be free to leave South Africa, where he had been under house arrest, for “any country of his choice except the IGAD region.”
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development has led multiple rounds of peace talks on South Sudan’s civil war, which has killed tens of thousands.
The communique comes after a rare face-to-face meeting between Machar and South Sudan President Salva Kiir. South Sudan’s government later rejected the idea of Machar returning again as Kiir’s deputy.
But the two men are set to meet again Monday in Sudan.