New power sharing deal sees Machar return as South Sudan Vice President

Kenneth Kazibwe

South Sudan rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar has again been appointed as the the country’s Vice President in a new deal signed on Saturday in Entebbe.

In December 2013, war broke out in South Sudan after president Salva Kiir accused his then deputy Machar of attempting to overthrow him prompting the latter to flee.

He would later start the Sudanese People Liberation Movement -In Opposition (SPLM-IO) a rebel group that has since then fought the Kiir government leading to death of thousands of people whereas others have been displaced.

On Saturday, the continent’s youngest nation was offered a lifeline following talks at State House in Entebbe between both Kiir and Machar and overseen by Presidents Museveni and his Sudanese counterpart, Omar Al Bashir.

They were involved in a closed meeting for close to ten hours before later coming up with a peace agreement.

The new deal if put into practice would maintain Kiir as South Sudan President and also see Machar take back his position as first Vice President.

The country will now have four vice presidents and the current ones including Taban Deng and Wani Igar.

The forth vice president will be a woman and is expected to be appointed soon from the opposition.

“It was agreed in principal that Salva Kiir will work together with his brother Dr.Riek Machar for the sake of peace and stability for South Sudan,” said the Sudan(Khartoum) minister for foreign affairs Al-Dierdiry al-Dhikheri.

On issue of national assembly, the current 400 positions will remain but 150 more members will be appointed to add onto the existing number.

These according to al-Dhikheri will be shared between Riek Machar’s SPLM-IO that will be allocated 100 members whereas the rest will come from other opposition groups.

In regards the cabinet, the current 30 member team will continue but 15 more members shared by the opposition will be added to it to make it 45 ministers for South Sudan.

He however said the final agreement was not signed in Entebbe because the opposition groups asked for more time to do consultations before they sign.

“There was no point in dispute but wanted to consult with respect to all points that were discussed,” the Sudanese foreign affairs minister said.

He said the negotiations will continue in Khartoum on July 10.

Machar’s wife, Angelina Teny confirmed they would first consult before signing the final peace agreement.

“We will consult on these matters and see if the decisions will be workable or amendable,”Teny said.

“We appreciate the spirit and we hope it will continue.”

She  said she was hopeful that the same spirit would be exhibited by all parties in regards to  security arrangement and permanent ceasefire.

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