South Sudan’s rebel leader appointed vice president

Juba/Addis Ababa, February 11, 2016 (SSNA) — South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Thursday issued a republican decree, appointing rebel chief Dr. Riek Machar as first Vice President of the Republican of South Sudan.

The move came nearly three weeks after Kiir and Machar failed to form an interim-government.

The appointment of the Former Vice President turned rebel leader was announced today evening on the state-run South Sudan Television (SSTV).

Kiir also appointed James Wani Igga as second Vice president.

Rebels have received the news of the appointment of their leader with mixed feelings, with some people expressing dissatisfactions, citing incompletion of amendments of the constitution.

Some provisions in the August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) stipulate that the young nation’s constitution must be amended and that the rebel leader must also be installed as the Vice president, a job he previously hold before fighting broke out on December 15, 2013.

Machar, who recently returned to Ethiopia after visiting a number of countries, has in the past said he will only go back to Juba if the constituion is fully amended.

The leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) that it will soon issue a prepared statement in regard to the appointment of Machar.

It is not clear what the armed opposition will say.

The IGAD-Plus gave South Sudan’s warring factions a January 22nd dateline to form a transitional government. However, the two rival groups failed to meet the dateline, raising fear that the two sides could resume fighting.

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