Newly appointed Vice President of South Sudan, Taban Deng Gai (L) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (R) pose at State House, in Juba on July 26, 2016. 
Kiir said he had appointed Taban Deng Gai to the post to replace former rebel leader Riek Machar on the "recommendation of the top leadership of the SPLM/A (IO)", the group Machar heads. Machar has refused to come back to Juba until the deployment of a neutral force of African troops -- a plan approved by the African Union but rejected by Kiir. Machar and Kiir fell out in 2013, little more than two years after South Sudan became independent, when Kiir accused his vice president of plotting against him. The result was a civil war that killed tens of thousands of people.
 / AFP / SAMIR BOL        (Photo credit should read SAMIR BOL/AFP/Getty Images)

International community supports appointment of new South Sudan VP

The international community said it is supporting the disputed appointment of Taban Deng Gai as South Sudanese Vice President, said the chief peace agreement monitor Festus Mogae.

Deng was appointed by President Salva Kiir after fighting broke out in the capital Juba, leaving more than a 100 people dead and thousands of others displaced.

Taban Gai was a minister in the unity government who was fired by Riek Machar weeks before his announcement as VP. The United States said it considers Gai’s appointment as legal to avoid fighting.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned South Sudanese leaders last week to stick to the peace agreement or face sanctions.

“There is no political will to implement the agreement. They are bent on a military solution, not a political solution,” Mogae told the Associated Press. “I am more disillusioned or less optimistic than I was when I first came. I thought that common sense and logic could persuade them to do the right thing.”

A negotiation with Machar’s SPLM-IO is ongoing but the appointment of VP Taban Gai has caused divisions. Those loyal to rebel leader Riek Machar are likely to continue fighting.

Machar, who is in Sudan’s capital Khartoum for medical treatment has left the hospital. Khartoum said he is free to stay in the country. The rebel leader and former vice-president is expected to address the press on the situation in Juba.

Comments are closed.