President Kiir Appoints Riek Machar As South Sudan’s First Vice President

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Thursday appointed Dr Riek Machar Teny as the first Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan as a move to implement the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) that was signed by the two parties in August 2015.

President Kiir Appoints Riek Machar As South Sudan’s First Vice President
Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who has been appointed as the first Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan. [File Photo]

By Ariik Atekdit and Peter Lokale

JUBA, 12 February 2016 [Gurtong] - Kiir issued a Presidential decree number 60 for the year 2016 effective 11 February as reported on the State owned television.

Mr. Kiir also relieved James Wani Igga from being the second top man in the government and reappointed him in the third top position as a Vice President in a presidential decree number 61.

South Sudan’s President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar have been rivals since 15 December 2013 when war broke out in Juba as Dr Riek Machar took arms against the government in what the government termed as a failed coup. 

The 21 – month long conflict devastated the country leaving thousands of people dead and displacing more than two million citizens and exposed thousands others to poverty life according to humanitarian agencies reports.

According to the agreement the two parties Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition of Dr Machar and South Sudan government under Kiir would form a Transitional government of National Unity before holding general elections in the country.

Meanwhile, Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) a civil society organisation in South Sudan has welcomed the move saying it is a bold step taken by the President.

The Executive Director of CEPO, Edmond Yakani said that it is a key milestone to the implementation of the peace agreement but there is need to speed up the process of implementing the transitional government of national unity.

"... Now that Machar has been appointed as 1st Vice President of South Sudan as has been awaited, what is required of the government is immediate sorting out of any stumbling blocks. This would be great. Appointment of the 1st Vice President by the President is a key milestone in the process of making peace happen. High time has come for the principals of the peace partners to demonstrate to the South Sudanese that they are peaceful and non-violent in settlement of their political difference," stressed Mr. Yakani.


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