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SPLM-IO welcomes Machar’s appointment as First Vice President

By Admin

Added 13th February 2016 12:18 PM

In a presidential decree number 60 read on the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV) on Thursday evening, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir appointed the top armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, as First Vice President of the country in accordance with the power sharing provisions in the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).

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South Sudan's newly appointed First Vice President Riek Machar gesturing as he holds a press conference in Kampala on January 26, 2016. Photo\AFP

In a presidential decree number 60 read on the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV) on Thursday evening, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir appointed the top armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, as First Vice President of the country in accordance with the power sharing provisions in the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).


The armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) said the Thursday’s appointment of their chairman as South Sudanese First Vice President has come as a “surprise” but “welcomed” the move as a step forward in the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August last year.

In a presidential decree number 60 read on the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV) on Thursday evening, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir appointed the top armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, as First Vice President of the country in accordance with the power sharing provisions in the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).

The peace agreement has stipulated that President Kiir will appoint a First Vice President who will be a nominee of the SPLM-IO.

Kiir in an earlier decree number 59 removed James Wani Igga from the position of Vice President and reappointed him to the position of (second) Vice President, falling junior to Machar.

Machar’s Press Secretary James Gatdet Dak when contacted for reaction to the news of the appointment said they welcomed it.

“We welcome the move. It is a step forward in the implementation of the peace agreement. The rushed appointment has however come as a surprise. We thought my Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of SPLM/SPLA (IO), Comrade Dr. Riek Machar, should have arrived in Juba first before the appointment is issued,” Dak said on Thursday evening.

 2jpg South Sudanese President Salva Kiir


 


“We hope President Kiir will not come up with another rushed surprise by forming a national unity government without my Chairman in Juba. He should also wait for the list of our nominated 10 ministers which our Chairman should submit in person in Juba,” he added.

Dak said the next step should now be for President Kiir’s administration to support the opposition faction in transporting the nearly 3,000 elements of joint police and military forces to the national capital, Juba, so that Machar can travel to the capital to form the unity government.

He added it may not take less than two weeks before the forces can arrive in Juba.

Observers however say the coming of the opposition forces to Juba is serious test to the government on the peace deal with senior political and military leaders opposed to the implementation of the security arrangements in the capital.
(ST)

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