August 23, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government has welcomed remarks attributed to United States’ secretary of states, John Kerry, in which he referred to replacement of armed opposition leader and the first vice president in the transitional unity government, Riek Machar as “legal” and in accordance with provisions of the peace deal.
- US secretary of state John Kerry (L) meets with South Sudanese president Salva Kiir in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 26 May 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
A presidential source said as long as the replacement came from the opposition faction of the SPLM-IO, there was nothing wrong with it.
“The president made the appointment in accordance with the provision of the resolution of the conflict in the republic of South Sudan which states that the position of the first vice president who is the nominee of the SPLM-IO must be filled in the event of being absent from his duties. And this position must be filled by a nominee of the SPLM-IO. The work of the president is to confirm and approve the nomination. It would be considered to be a violation of peace agreement if the new nominee was from other political forces or stakeholder,” said presidential advisor on security affairs, Tut Kew Gatluak,
Gatluak said the government was now committed to the full implementation of the agreement and called on the international community, especially the government of the United States to stand with President Salva Kiir’s government in the implementation of the agreement and in provision of basic services to the people.
SPLM-IO however criticized Kerry for his comment, saying it was against Article 6.5 of the agreement as well as against resolutions of IGAD and United Nations Security Council.