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South Sudan information minister says Machar could be replaced


July 19, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudanese information and broadcasting minister has confirmed on Tuesday reports that the the country’s First Vice President, Riek Machar, could be replaced from his position by another official from his faction in accordance with the provision of the August 2015 peace agreement, which ended 21 months of civil war.

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South Sudanese information minister Michael Makuei Lueth attends a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 5 January 2014 (Photo: AP/Elias Asmara)

Minister Michael Makuei Lueth who doubles as the official spokesperson for the government, and loyal to President Salva Kiir’s faction, is the first senior government official to confirm the speculations which have been widely circulated on social media and which the multiple sources at the presidency hinted that Machar could be replaced if he fails to come out from his hiding and report to Juba.

“Riek Machar can go and the agreement continues. In accordance with the provisions of the agreement, the SPLM/A-IO is supposed to appoint someone to act on behalf of Riek Machar until that time when he comes back and in case the position falls vacant, then the IO would be required to nominate a candidate to fill the position of the first vice president,” said Lueth on Tuesday.

He was speaking during an interview with the US sponsored eye radio at which he confirmed Machar has been in contact with the president and that his absence does not translate cancellation of the peace agreement.

“The fact that Riek Machar has gone does not mean that the agreement is gone. We are hopeful that Riek Machar will come back,” he added.

Machar’s spokesperson also said his leader was going to return to Juba, but after a third party force is deployed in the capital to restore security and ensure protection of the leadership and officials as well as critical government installations.

“The First Vice President is coming back to Juba soon. He only waits for the deployment of additional regional troops in Juba as proposed by the IGAD, the AU and the United Nations Security Council,” an opposition source told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

He said there was no reason to replace Machar who simply relocated from the capital in order to avoid further military confrontations in Juba as President Kiir could not control his forces, adding that the “lawlessness” which exploded at the very palace was a clear manifestation that the capital needed a third force to manage its security.

He also said it would be a clear violation of the peace agreement if Kiir’s faction would unilaterally replace Machar with their “stooge”, saying there are institutions in the SPLM-IO who nominated Machar to take up the position as First Vice President.

Reports suggest that the former chief negotiator for the SPLM-IO and current Mining minister, Taban Deng Gai, assisted by Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, have been leading a campaign to replace Machar, but other opposition officials have refused.

It was speculated that the SPLM-IO secretary general and Energy minister, Dhieu Mathok Diing, was beaten on Friday last week by President Kiir’s security personnel, allegedly because he is one of those who refused the campaign to replace Machar, as the group resorted to intimidating the opposition officials in Juba to endorse Taban Deng.

Taban Deng is reportedly not happy with Machar for not having appointed him as petroleum minister and Ezekiel Lol has grievances for being left out without a government portfolio.

Observers with knowledge of the peace agreement however said it would be difficult for President Kiir to replace Machar as this would attract condemnation from the regional and international partners in the peace agreement.


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  • 20 July 2016 07:56, by barbayo

    All South Sudanese accept the replacement no problem ,Raik Machar is only person who created hatred among peaceful South Sudanese particular Dinka and Nuer ,they are brothers and sisters

    repondre message

    • 20 July 2016 09:01, by Malakal county Simon


      You never failed to make me laugh bro!! You like fish trying to swim without water. For your information Kiir has no power to replace or appoint FVP in the compromise peace agreement. If does so which I doubt, would be a violation of peace in the spirit. Let’s the rogue called Makuey Lueth for himself because the leadership of IO stands behind Dr Machar and no replacement shall bear

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      • 20 July 2016 09:07, by Malakal county Simon


        Let’s the rogue Makuey Lueth speak for himself because no replacement shall bear without IO leadership endorsement!!!! By the way, who is Taban in IO camp?? He is nothing because he has no followers in the moment.... Let’s him bark and we will deal with him or maybe kick him out for good this time!!!!

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      • 20 July 2016 10:19, by barbayo

        Malakal CountySimon/Looter

        it was stated in comprise peace agreement in the absent chairman SPLA-IO or SPLM IG for 24 hours so the replacement should occur immediately to close the gap. now how many days or weeks your Ngundeng is a way ? is it kingdom position ? mark my word you will hear in SSTV today the replacement

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    • 20 July 2016 13:45, by jubaone


      You just Can’t replace Riak like that, there are issues that have to be done first. There is an agreement that puts Riak where he is now. But of course jienges don’t have rules never have any and are notorious nuts. You are primitive and can’t live with civilized people. Only fighting, killing, raping and banditry. God save us from these tailless and ugly satan’s children.

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      • 20 July 2016 16:55, by Joseph Canada

        Junaone, you cracked my ribs bro!! "Tailless Ugly Satan’s children"!!! Thats the word to describe these little Lucifers with half elephant task!

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      • 20 July 2016 17:44, by barbayo


        Raik Machar can replace like salamalek,who is Raik "" malitias , you are malitias who can not understand where is your boss Martin Kenyi and Ladu Gore is now surrendered
        Simon Gatwech Dual and James Koang Chuol their Soul .............. God knows

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      • 20 July 2016 18:31, by Makuen Ci Nhomwan

        you hate Dinka for no reason. Dinka are people for peace. Dinka killed when someone is against them. I believe if dinka are not for peace then dinka would have thrown away everybody in this country. Believe me.

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  • 20 July 2016 08:18, by lino

    kiir faction doesn’t have any right to interfere in any other faction or party; else why there was war in first place?
    IO can elect Ladu Gore if any vacancy happens. Let them enjoy Juba for time been, but African Forces are on the including Arab of Khartoum!!!

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  • 20 July 2016 09:18, by Eastern

    It’s beyond this tribal bigot Makuei Lueth to even raise the issue of Dr Machar’s replacement. There are mechanisms and guarantors to the agreement. Both Dr Machar and Kiir are partners to the agreement. Makuei shouldn’t embarrass himself as a lawyer. He’s shouldn’t play into the unconfirmed setup aimed at killing Dr Machar at J1 so as to get a replacement Kiir & JCE can work with!!!

    repondre message

  • 20 July 2016 11:57, by Positive Thinker

    To you all those who are in contact with Gat Machar, tell him if he fail to report himself to his work station in Juba Gat Nyalam will be crowned FVP. Please tell hi he has only 3 days as degree will be read out on Sunday Evening at 8:00 Pm. And Taban swearing in before the Prsident on Monday in J1.

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