Irresistible rise of Machar, the rebel with a ‘world view’
Saturday July 16 2016
Riek Machar, then rebel leader and now First Vice President of South Sudan, meets with his supporters after landing at Juba International Airport on April 26. AFP PHOTO | SAMIR BOL
Facing risk of imminent capture, Machar, according to sources familiar with the events of that day, was whisked to safety by a combination of US Special Forces and the United Nations.
That dramatic escape was the culmination of friendships cultivated over time with strange bedfellows that would prove crucial in sustaining his rebellion against Juba.
As Garang hobnobbed with African socialists, Machar constructed a space for himself with the Western donors and it is partly because of this relationship that Norway and the US would be among the guarantors of the 2005 Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement.