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South Sudanese president cautioned over Machar replacement

South Sudanese president cautioned over Machar replacement

South Sudan

Hours after the swearing-in of a new first vice president to replace absent former rebel leader Riek Machar, the United Nations has cautioned South Sudanese president Salva Kiir to respect the peace deal.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said on Monday that “any political appointments need to be consistent with the provisions outlined in the peace agreement.”

The First Vice President of South Sudan Riek Machar left Juba after the deadly fighting between his troops and those of Kiir.

The violence, which left at least 300 dead, threatened the fragile peace agreement started in August 2015 to end the civil war that began in December 2013.

The agreement states that the vice president must be chosen by the South Sudanese opposition group SPLM-IO, yet after an ultimatum by the president demanding the return of Machar to the capital, he went ahead to appoint Taban Deng Gai who was the Minister of Mines.

“I have been appealing to him to come back to Juba so that we continue with the implementation of the agreement. Of course this agreement cannot be personalized. That is as he is away the agreement will be held until when that person comes. That cannot happen,” President Kiir said.

Machar had earlier requested that the newly appointed First Vice President be sacked as Minister of Mines for defecting from the opposition SPLM-IO where he was the chief negotiator.

The new first vice president has promised to end the struggle of South Sudanese, especially those sheltering in camps.

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