Feb 11, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– President Salva Kiir Mayardit has on Thursday issued a Decree number 60 appointing his main rival and leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement or Army in Opposition (SPLM/A – IO) Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon as the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, the Decree was read over state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV).
The Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan signed in August 2015 under auspices of IGAD created First Vice President position for the SPLM/A – IO to be presumably filled by its current leadership in order to safeguard the Transition Government of National Unity that is yet to be formed.
“The appointment is the right direction, but in a way, it was a surprise to me because what I expected was that Juba will first be demilitarized as stipulated in the Agreement, our troops would go in, then I follow and TGoNU would start with my appointment,” says Riek Machar over the BBC interview in reacting to his appointment.
While congratulatory messages are pouring in for Machar on his appointment by Kiir as 1st Vice President of South Sudan, the Presidential Decree appointing him is received by mix reactions from Machar’s camp.
“Dr. Machar has been appointed as first Vice President, no longer designated First VP,” James Mawich Bichok, SPLM – IO Representative in Brazil, writes on his Facebook timeline.
In variation, there are some voices saying President Kiir has done the right thing by appointing Machar in a move viewed as interest in implementing the Agreement. But others say the opposite arguing that Kiir has no mandate to appoint Machar but to endorse him as the SPLM – IO nominee per terms of the Agreement.
“Kiir has NO authority to appoint Machar as the country’s First VP, ARCISS has created the position for Machar. Given that fact, Kiir’s quick jump to appointing Machar means cutting corners to the basics of TGoNU such as security arrangement,” argues Gatluak Pal Chuol, SPLM – IO Representative in New Zealand.
Fighting on the ground
In another development, the forces belong to the government have besieged Mundri in Western Equatoria state.
“Government forces are on offensive mission against SPLA – (IO) cantonment site in South Eastern part of Mundri West this morning,” reports Baya Kayidri, the official spokesperson of the SPLM/A=IO in Western Equatoria state.
“They have already arrived in Bari in the Southern part of Mundri West and now advancing towards the SPLA – (IO) cantonment site.”
On Wednesday this week, the SPLA-IO in Western Equatoria state reported to Nyamilepedia that the Government attacked their positions in Meke in Maridi County of Western Equatoria state, killing children under the age of 8 and one captain.