Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Sudan Tribune

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Unity State authorities welcome Machar’s appointment to second top position

February 13, 2016 (BENTIU) – Officials from South Sudan’s Unity state have welcomed the appointment of the leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar, as First Vice President of South Sudan.

David Jany Yak, a member of parliament in Unity state legislative assembly and current state Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, has described Machar’s appointment as in accordance with the peace accord signed in August last year.

He however said the appointment of Machar was not done at the right time, referring to President Salva Kiir’s decree as a rushed decision without Machar’s forces in Juba.

“The problem we are seeing is, he should have been appointed after the processes of withdrawals of SPLA forces from Juba and the entrance of the SPLA-IO into Juba as joint forces,” said Unity state finance minister.

Yak, who spoke to Sudan Tribune in his capacity as a member of state parliament, also added that the continued operationalization of the unilaterally created 28 states is a setback to the peace implementation, adding that such a decision without the SPLM-IO is a clear violation of the peace agreement.

He also said the ongoing military attacks on rival forces should stop in order for the peace deal to hold.

He however explained that it was constitutional right of President Kiir to appoint Machar as First Vice President, but he cannot remove him per the provisions of the peace deal. However, the current constitution does not recognize the position of the First Vice President.

Major Weirial Puok Baluang, press secretary of SPLM-IO appointed governor of Unity state has echoed Yak’s concerns about the rush, but added the decision is in the right place.

He said the decision was in line with the compromise peace deal, however added that the pending issues including the fate of the creation of 28 states and security arrangements may contribute to peace delay.

He claimed that pro-government forces had been on offensive in areas of SPLM-IO despite president Kiir’s decree on appointment of Machar, questioning their full commitment to the peace implementation.