SUDAN SWEAR-IN FORMER REBEL LEADER AS VICE -PRESIDENT

SUDAN SWEAR-IN FORMER REBEL LEADER AS VICE -PRESIDENT

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 SUDAN SWEAR-IN FORMER REBEL LEADER AS VICE -PRESIDENT

– Riek Machar, South Sudan’s rebel leader has been sworn in as vice-president.

 SUDAN SWEAR-IN FORMER REBEL LEADER AS VICE -PRESIDENT
Riek Machar

 SUDAN SWEAR-IN FORMER REBEL LEADER AS VICE -PRESIDENT

Riek Machar, has on Tuesday evening been declared and sworn in as the new Vice- President of South Sudan.

The decision to make the former rebel leader vice-president had come in a bid to enhance peace deal aimed at putting an end to a long time conflict within the country.

He returned earlier to the capital, Juba, to take the post in a new unity government led by President Salva Kiir.

South Sudan conflict for the past two years has led to the death of many thousands of people while a tune of million have been rendered homeless.

The country became independent in 2011 after a lot tumultuous period. Mr Machar fled Juba at the start of the civil war in December 2013.

He had been accused of trying to organize a coup, which he denied – but it set off a round of tit-for-tat killings, which developed into a full-blown conflict.

Both men, whose personal falling out has resulted in more than two years of bitter conflict in the world’s youngest nation, spoke optimistically about the future, addressing the media at the swearing-in ceremony.

After the period of intense civil war which began in 2013, supporters were since seen celebrating the new vice president.

There were shouts of joy at the airport as his supporters greeted Riek Machar, back in the capital. The atmosphere during the ceremony to swear him in as first vice-president was noticeably more tense.

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SUDAN SWEAR-IN FORMER REBEL LEADER AS VICE -PRESIDENT

President Salva Kiir and his new deputy described each other as brothers, but there were not many smiles.

The two had talked of the need to bury their axe and to rebuild a conflict rocked nation. A government of national unity should be formed in the next few days.

Among its first challenges will be to overcome the mistrust between the two sides. The fact that there are other rebel groups which have not signed the peace deal could also prove significant.

“I am very committed to implement this agreement so that the process of national reconciliation and healing is started as soon as possible,” Mr Machar told journalists at the presidential palace in Juba.

However, President Salva Kiir welcomed Mr Machar back to South Sudan, twice referring to him as his “brother“, according to a transcript of his speech published by the local Radio Tamazuj news website.

“I have no doubt that his return to Juba today marks the end of the war and the return of peace and stability to South Sudan,” Mr Kiir said.

Studied at UK’s University of Bradford, obtaining a PhD in philosophy and strategic planning in 1984. Married UK aid worker Emma McCune in 1991.

Addressing the media, Machar said his main priorities were to ensure a permanent ceasefire, to stabilize the economy and ensure humanitarian access throughout South Sudan.

“I’m happy to be back… The war was vicious. We have lost a lot of people in it and we need to bring our people together so that they can unite,” he said.

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The US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, described Mr Machar’s return as “the best hope that South Sudan has had in a very long time”, but warned of the need to keep up the pressure on both sides to make sure the peace deal was properly implemented.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the new unity government to be formed immediately.

 SUDAN SWEAR-IN FORMER REBEL LEADER AS VICE -PRESIDENT