Newly appointed South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar has welcomed the decision by President Salva Kiir to reinstall him to his former position after pressure from the international community for the two leaders to agree to share power.
“It is welcome news because it is a step forward in the implementation of the peace agreement,” Machar told AFP, speaking from Ethiopia. It was not immediately clear when Machar would travel to Juba to take up his post.
The appointment was agreed as part of an August 2015 peace deal, which has been repeatedly broken.
Machar, who was vice-president from 2005 until he was sacked in 2013, and who has yet to return to Juba since fleeing when war broke out in December 2013, however says much more needs to be done to reform the government.
Kiir also named James Wani Igga as second vice president and he will be sworn in on Friday, presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said by phone from the capital, Juba.
Machar previously held the vice president role until he was fired by Kiir five months before the conflict began.
Under a peace accord signed in August, Machar will join the president in a 30-month transitional government, leading to new elections.