Government accepts Machar’s return, discussing 21 states: government official

South Sudan's Looming Handshake: What are the expectations?

South Sudan leaders, Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar Teny greets during the last meeting(photo: file/supplied/Nyamilepedia)

July 5th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s government has accepted the return of  the country’s prominent opposition and SPLM-IO leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, as the First Vice-President to the government whose mandate collapsed in July 2016 following clashes at the Presidential Palace J1 between guards loyal to Kiir and Machar, government official has told the Nyamilepedia today.

The mediation of the Sudanese government under the auspices of President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir on Thursday unveiled a new peace plan that would witness the return of Dr. Riek Machar Teny to the First Vice-President position which he held prior to the 2016 clashes.

The peace proposal also want South Sudan administered on the basis of 21 states which were proposed by Machar in 2014.

In an exclusive interview with the Nyamilepedia this evening, Dickson Gatluak Joak, former spokesman of First Vice-President Taban Deng’s forces, said the government has accepted the return of Machar as the First Vice-President but said deliberations regarding the 21 states are underway.

“Discussions are ongoing [regarding the 21 states]. We accepted the return of Machar but we are discussing the issue of 21 states,” he told the Nyamilepedia today.

Asked whether there is possibility that the government would accept the administration of the country based on ten states if it rejected the installment of 21 states, Gatluak replied and said it is too early that he can not predict at the movement but pointed out that discussions are under way and the government will hopefully be decided by tomorrow, Friday.
“We can not predict at the moment. It’s too early [but] the issue is on the table now and the members will deliberate on it tomorrow to see whether it’s suitable to go for 21 or remain with current 32 states,” Gatluak said.