Home | News    Wednesday 27 July 2016

Gai sworn-in as South Sudan’s First VP, calls for one army


July 26, 2016 (JUBA) – The former chief negotiator for South Sudan’s armed opposition, Taban Deng Gai was on Tuesday sworn-in as First Vice President, replacing Riek Machar who fled the nation following the recent clashes between rival forces in the capital, Juba.

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Head of the rebel delegation, Taban Deng Gai, attends the opening ceremony of South Sudan’s negotiation in Addis Ababa, January 4, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

Gai, appointed on Monday by President Salva Kiir in a decree, vowed to work with the former to restore ,, address economic crisis and ensure return of civilians displaced by the conflict to their homes.

He said ending the war required cooperation with the international community.

“To achieve this [peace] Mr. President, we must cooperate with the international community provided that they respect this country,” said a rather emotional Gai.

In what appears to be a shift from the provisions of the peace agreement that requires two armies for a period of 18 months, Gai suggested that this provision be scrapped.

“This country has a constitution, this country have a president and have a law to be followed. Your Excellence Mr. President, as I said, you are my commander in chief. The country cannot have two armies,” he said.

Gai was nominated by armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) in Juba over the weekend as replacement for Machar, who is the chairman of the SPLM-IO. President Kiir formally appointed Gai as First Vice President in a decree announced on Monday.

Kiir, however, said he did not influence the decision to replace Machar with Gai.

“Comrade Taban Deng Gai was selected by the SPLM/A IO to replace Dr. Riek Machar whose whereabouts are not known to all of us,” said the South Sudanese leader.

“I have been appealing to him [First Vice President Riek Machar] to come back to Juba so that we continue with the implementation of the agreement. Of course this agreement cannot be personalized that if X is away, the agreement can be shelved until when that person comes. That cannot happen,” he added.

Machar has said he would only return to the capital, Juba when a third force proposed by regional countries and approved by the African Union is deployed in the young nation.


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  • 26 July 2016 22:34, by marie

    South Sudan is a country full of surprises. It was only yesterday that Taban Gai negotiated the peace agreement and today turning his back against it. Money is really a source of all evils. A man without conscience or integrity.

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    • 26 July 2016 23:16, by chuol

      My desperate nephew Taban Mohammed Hassen (Toroboro) needs only the following:
      1. Wants to appears in the History even if it cause him death or he stays as FVP for a week.
      2. Needs an enough money like he looted from the civilians in Bentiu so that he goes and die in Australia

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      • 26 July 2016 23:24, by chuol

        These are his only junior supporters in the SPLM.I.O Political
        1. Thoy Chany (Well trained M.I personal
        2. Ezekiel Lol (Diplomat)
        3. Michael Chiangjiek (Dignified leader)
        4. John Yak or Hyena Nyagai (No description)
        5. Hon. Riaw Gatlir Gai( coward and illiterate, he joint university but like he did not)
        6. Tut LIETH Jiech ( poor civilian)
        7. Tuach Lew ( thief who stole money in bank in2014

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    • 27 July 2016 08:27, by Force 1

      Taban is a smart guy because he knows that a country can only have one army, police etc but two armies and police in the same country don’t make any country a country at all. what happens so far from those who believe that having two armies in the same country was a good idea?

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      • 27 July 2016 11:39, by Dengda

        What is your understanding of JIU in CPA in 2005. Two armies provision for 18 months is context what Kiir and Riek signed in August let Taban bring alternative argument. Beside, acting is well in place, but swearing him is not in agreement. Acting and swearing are different case altogether. admitted that Taban has been fooled or defected. Why he suggested is the issue of power balance.

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    • 27 July 2016 08:43, by Thokidine

      We all know that Taban would be congratulated by Jieng as they want lunatic, greedy and idiot child who will implement their evil domination over other tribe thru. If Peace failed to be implemented by those with power, how possible is it for Taban whose power is in the hand of Kiir to implement it? But thanks God that Taban has by himself spoiled his career in SS and particularly Nuer Land.

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  • 27 July 2016 01:35, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    What unprincipled, opportunistic, political novice. He was at the peak of negotiation for the peace agreement that took a long time that would have set a bench mark to cause a just peace in the country but he callously waited for his time for financial, positional bribery to betray the dead and the innocent who perished in the hands of a despot.

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    • 27 July 2016 08:54, by Akuma

      Mr. Taban is there to implement peace agreement to end the suffering of South Sudanese citizens then Riek Machar who is mad and illuminate at the same time.

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  • 27 July 2016 01:40, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    To TABAN now is death to federalism, death to SPLA/IO, death to fair national representations of multi-ethnicity in all institutions of South Sudan. No wonder the peace agreement is now dead and it needs resurrection by the patriots of the country. The international community should not wait and see their hard work for this peace agreement go to waste.

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  • 27 July 2016 04:59, by Dinka-Defender-General

    Congratulation true south Sudan son General Taban. You spoke the truth. We, don’t need two separate armies in south Sudan. We, also need international communities on our side if we need to be successful and strong. Therefore, let’s join the armies together soon and stop instability that destroy our country. Let’s join hands and welcome our true vice president Taban. Long live south Sudan.

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  • 27 July 2016 05:13, by Whortti Bor Manza

    It is a waste and of no use debating Taban Deng. This chronology of events was long overdue. My appeal is to Nyam Nyam not to think the Nilotic way .
    The only solution is war. Machar was fooled when he accepted to come to Juba with a small force of 1350 against over 50000 of Kiir’s well armed. Kiir planned this in advance .

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  • 27 July 2016 06:58, by Eastern

    The ARCISS is dead and IGAD & JMEC has nothing to "speculate about it". African leaders callously continue to bleat that they have African solutions for African problems: Africa continues to beg for money to fix their self-inflicted problems.

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  • 27 July 2016 07:58, by Eastern

    El Taban Gai is in other words asking for a portion of the infamous Mathiang anyoor to be assigned to protect him now that his SPLA-IO he boasts of won’t be forthcoming!

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  • 27 July 2016 08:16, by viper

    In any peace situation, home made solution is always what matters. I have seen that the enemies of peace and south Sudan haven’t believed their eyes and ears when Taban rubbished their two armies agenda that was designed just to take the country back to war anytime as it happened at J1. Up to now, some people are calling on the first vice president as a betrayer when in the real sense, he’s a savi

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    • 27 July 2016 08:21, by viper

      ....... Savior. First vice president has dismantled the bad intentions of the foreigners towards our motherland. He’s just like Erdogan now who overcame the coup plotters some days back. Our neighbours are now crying especially the Ethiopians and Kenyans whose agenda was not peace in south Sudan, but something different. If anybody deserve a praise in this situation, then Taban do.

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  • 27 July 2016 09:55, by Eastern

    El Tabani has no army so to talk of; he has a hotel room in Juba to give him shelter and some money to wine and dine with. The days of Dinkocracy and kleptocracy are soon ending!

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    • 27 July 2016 10:53, by Paul Ongee

      “But this will never happen. Dr. Riek Machar will someday return to Juba whether they like it or not, whether they will be there in Juba to receive him or not,” Dak added.

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      • 27 July 2016 10:54, by Paul Ongee

        I like the above statement issued by Mr. James Gatdet Dak, he’s still living in the world of delusion and superstition, where he believes that Riek is the only important educated Nuer prophesied by Ngungdeng to be President of South Sudan at any cost. He doesn’t want to hear the history of Bor massacre orchestrated by Riek in 1991 and he doesn’t’ want to hear how bogus……

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        • 27 July 2016 10:55, by Paul Ongee

          ….Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA-1997) is trashed in the face of Riek where he could not mobilize his innocent followers to take up arms and fight Omer Hassan Bashir for such gross violation of KPA. Instead, his Dr. Riek (how he likes calling him) decided to return to the real PhD holder Dr. John Garang de Mabior to be forgiven in Nairobi in 2002 and reinstated into his position.

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          • 27 July 2016 10:56, by Paul Ongee

            It should have been a big shame for a PhD holder (Dr. Riek) to keep shifting allegiance at his own disposal without considering the impact of his violent action on his own innocent tribesmen in particular since 1991. How does James Gatdek Dak consider himself and Dr. Riek civilized if they’re in the bush today and tomorrow in Khartoum preferred to be used to destabilize….

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            • 27 July 2016 10:57, by Paul Ongee

              ….their own country to prove Khartoum’s statement that “Junubin cannot govern themselves?” How do Kenyans, Ugandan, Rwandans, etc govern themselves? Are Kenyans, Ugandans, Tanzanians, Rwandans or Burundians taught by Khartoum first how to govern themselves? Do we need Jalaba to tell us, through Riek or whoever rebels against an elected government headed by Dinka,.…

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              • 27 July 2016 10:58, by Paul Ongee

                ….how to govern ourselves, ya Dak? How many times do you like Vice President James Wani Igga to keep giving up his position to Riek since 2002? And how many times do you want Riek to be forgiven and reinstated into his position? President Salva Kiir Mayardit repeatedly forgave militia leaders, who felt that “shifting allegiance” constantly was wrong because it has become….

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                • 27 July 2016 10:58, by Paul Ongee

                  ….their culture of lifeline in Juba and Khartoum. But most of them realized the impact on their community and that’s why they are now in the government although Dak and Riek brand them as Dinka or supporters of Dinka government. Innocent Nuers have been mobilized to fight the senseless war of 1991 and 2013 that Junubin “must” be ruled by Riek himself, not a president from Dinka?

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                  • 27 July 2016 10:59, by Paul Ongee

                    Equatorians who joined Riek in 2013 were mobilized on the pretext that Dinka are grabbing your land (while Riek does have a good number of plots in Juba) and President Kiir is giving high positions to Dinka only, not Equatorians. Riek decided to give military ranks to people who were not even trained and they put on facebook that they’re Generals. Those Junubin or Equatorians ….

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                    • 27 July 2016 11:00, by Paul Ongee

                      …who needs high positions and high military ranks immediately joined Riek’s camp without thinking the outcome of such divisive policy. To international community, Riek claims that SPLM needs reforms and a new leadership under him. Different messages to different audiences to garner political, diplomatic and military support. The first person to defect from Riek’s camp …..

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                      • 27 July 2016 11:01, by Paul Ongee

                        ….was a Nuer because of poor manifesto, poor policy, poor messages, poor strategy and poor vision. Peace Agreement of August 2015 was coined to be called CPA to sound like CPA of 2005 and its implementation is tuned to CPA of 2005 in order to take us back to the interim period of 2005-2011. Why was it not the case with KPA of 1997? Where was Troika to be peace guarantors of KPA of 1997?

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                        • 27 July 2016 11:02, by Paul Ongee

                          And why does CPA of 2015 mimick CPA of 2005 and its implementation matrix? Are we or Junubin okay again with the “two armies/system, one country”, interim period of 30 months, then what, elections or referendum of 2011 again for separation of Leer or isolating Dinka from South Sudan? Did Almight God make a mistake to put us all in South Sudan?

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                          • 27 July 2016 11:03, by Paul Ongee

                            Conclusively, President Kiir has said repeatedly that Riek would come to Juba peacefully as he did last April, but not as Riek was claiming after the initial fall of Bor, Malakal or Bentiu to the IO, that Kiir should only worry about the fall of Juba. But things turned out to be an uphill task until last April.

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                            • 27 July 2016 11:04, by Paul Ongee

                              The same thing would happen peacefully but not by violence, force or international conspiracy. Riek Machar is a South Sudanese citizen and has every right on the basis of his political record to become a president by ballot box, but not by bullets, violence, mobilization of tribesmen and Equatorians or Fertit on false grounds and imposition of Riek on South Sudanese by international conspiracy.

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                              • 27 July 2016 11:05, by Paul Ongee

                                South Sudan know who to vote for when election time comes but it needs security, stability and above all economic development, and cannot be held hostage because of where the leadership should first come from this or that tribe. A leader can come from any tribe in South Sudan, whether it’s big or small or has a record of being wild, warrior or not.

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