Home | News    Tuesday 26 April 2016

Machar sworn-in as South Sudan’s First Vice-President

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April 26, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, has been sworn in as First Vice-President shortly after his arrival in the country’s national capital, Juba, on Tuesday, 26 April, 2016, two years after fleeing the city on 15 December 2013.

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South Sudan vice President Riek Machar waves to the crowd on arrival in Juba April 26, 2016 (ST)

Machar’s plane touched down in Juba at about 3:45pm. The top opposition leader who chairs the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) was received by several of his senior officials and a number of government ministers.

Machar, dressed in African fashion, from the airport drove straight to the Presidential Palace (J1) where President Salva Kiir, his main rival, but peace partner, was waiting for him. He immediately took oath of office as first vice president of the world’s youngest nation before President Kiir. This is expected to be followed by formation of transitional government of national unity in the next few days.

A former vice-president since year 2005 when South Sudan became a semi-autonomous government following signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with Sudanese President Omer el Bashir, Machar was sacked by President Salva Kiir two and a half years later after South Sudan became an independent nation.

He and President Kiir fell out over the future of the ruling SPLM party and its leadership as well as over affairs of the government. This subsequently resulted to clashes between their presidential guards on Sunday, 15 December 2013, splitting between loyalists of Kiir’s Dinka and Machar’s Nuer ethnic groups.

President Kiir then accused Machar of allegedly planning a coup, which the latter said was a false claim, further accusing the former of allegedly stage-managing a coup in order to silence voices of opponents.

Machar after the clashes and successful escape to the bushes formed what he said was a “resistance movement” some weeks later to fight a “dictator” who massacred “thousands of civilians” in the capital, particularly targeting an ethnic Nuer community from which he hails.

A war raged on for two years, spreading to some other states, particularly in Machar’s home region of Upper Nile. Skirmishes also occurred in the other two regions of Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria.

The two rival parties together with other stakeholders in the conflict, however, signed a peace agreement which called for political and institutional reforms in the country.

The rebel leader was airlifted to Juba from his headquarters of Pagak via Gambella airport in Ethiopia by a United Nations plane, 8 months after signing the IGAD-sponsored peace agreement on 17 August 2015.

In accordance with the peace agreement, the opposition leader, who becomes first vice president in the power sharing deal, will also be the commander-in-chief of a separate army and police of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO), with separate structures from the other co-army and police commanded by President Kiir.

The two rival national armies and police forces will however reunify during the transitional period after achieving security sector reforms laid out in the peace agreement.

The transitional government will run the country for 30 months from formation until elections are conducted at the end of the interim period.

The opposition leader in a statement to reporters at the Juba airport upon arrival said the priorities were to tackle insecurity and restore stability, revive the country’s economy and address humanitarian concerns.

(ST)

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  • 26 April 2016 18:54, by Uncle J

    In 2013, he was a Prophet of doom, in 2016 he became FVP again, so what different is he going to make this time he became first voice president? government should put him on leach so he doesn’t escape from Juba again if he ever starts another rebellion.

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    • 26 April 2016 19:07, by Johndumo14

      The first escape to Khartoum!!
      The second escape to Ethiopia!!
      The third escape will be ........? may be DRC Congo,but wait !!
      God only gives 2 chances not 3 or 4 times !!
      Gredy people are always the looser!!
      As iam telling now he is the looser,he lost people,money and time!!

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  • 26 April 2016 20:00, by Wed-wau

    The returned of Riek Machar was not about him (Machar), it was about returning of peace in country. It is About South Sudan, because Machar and Kiir are part of the problem. Why SSTV did not cover this event? And how longer will SSTV will denied Machar covering?

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  • 26 April 2016 20:19, by Angelo Achuil

    With so much blood shed and tribal hatred sowed in the names of the two leaders, their job of leading is going to be difficult.

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  • 27 April 2016 01:31, by Gabriel KK

    Welcome back Mr. Evil Prophet.

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  • 27 April 2016 02:14, by Black Africa

    If you just pay attention, those who are writing bad stuff about Dr Riek Machar are Dinka because the establish of Dinka Kingdom have failed. Dr Riek Machar have save the people of South Sudan from Kiir and Malong gangster killer.

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    • 27 April 2016 05:47, by Khent

      Black Africa

      There are legitimate reasons for hating Riek. Riek is a TRAITOR. His political, economic and military alliance with Khartoum contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of lives and the misery of millions more in South Sudan.

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      • 27 April 2016 05:48, by Khent

        .Riek was instrumental in Khartoum’s ability to not only take control of the oilfields but to secure them as part of his military alliance with the Ignaz Nazis... and in doing so he enabled Khartoum to purchase billions of dollars in advanced and devastating weaponry, which was then unleashed on those that did not follow that death-deserving TRAITOR, Riek...

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        • 27 April 2016 05:53, by Khent

          This is what Riek said to a journalist-historian in the wake of the 1991 split:

          He discounted tribalism as “from a different age”, though boasted that he has “not seen a Nuer who doesn’t support me.” In the same breath, he added, “if there is a tribal element, the Nuer would destroy all the Dinka.” (Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda, Scott Peterson)

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          • 27 April 2016 06:05, by Khent

            The massacre was not the end of the tragedy in Bor, however. An estimated 100, 000 people fled the area following the attack, and after many of the villages had been burnt to the ground. According to Amnesty International, famine brought about by looting and the destruction of crops and livestock killed a further 25, 000 people, many of them children. ( South Sudan, Max Lovell-Hoare)

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            • 27 April 2016 06:06, by Khent

              Since Salva Kiir is a tribalist, a human rights abuser, a mass murderer and a genocidaire, and if that is the basis in which he is opposed by you, then you must also oppose Riek. If you do not oppose Riek, then you are being morally inconsistent and are precluded from evoking any notion of morality...

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  • 27 April 2016 04:12, by lino

    Are you Southerners dumped or what? Everything happened the way it is so peace can be maintained!!!
    Next fight in South Sudan will be between you, poor people and these rich gangs that stolen your development money. People are starving and they need to eat; whether you supported Kiir or Riek, you still have to join the demonstrations against the rich people !!!

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    • 27 April 2016 05:13, by Rami Tot

      Lino
      these people are Control by tribal hatred they dont follow their rights from those corrupted leaders, yet they want their tribes to be the top which will lead to another tribal stereotype war later and again made people of south sudan suffered.

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