A spokesman says South Sudan's exiled rebel leader Riek Machar is traveling to South Africa but will not seek political asylum there.

The move announced Wednesday by spokesman Mabior Garang deepens South Sudan's political limbo as fighting continues in many parts of the world's youngest nation.

Machar, then the country's first vice president, fled South Sudan after fighting erupted in July between troops loyal to him and others supporting President Salva Kiir. Machar ended up in neighboring Sudan, where he recently issued a call to arms against the government.

On Monday, a government spokesman called Machar and his forces "terrorists" and accused them of "targeted killing" based on ethnicity.

Tens of thousands have been killed since civil war began in late 2013. Over a million people have fled the country.