S. Sudan: Riek Machar to Take Oath Today

1406 Views Juba, Sudan

In short
However, General Gabriel Gatwech Chan, a commander popularly known as Tang-Ginye, says he does not expect the agreement signed by Dr Riek Machar to lead to peace in South Sudan.

The Chairman of Sudan People's Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) Dr Riek Machar takes oath today as the 1st Vice President of South Sudan, a move that could end a civil war that started over two years ago in the world's youngest nation.

Machar, who on April 12 returned to his strong base of Pagak, after more than two years in exile, will take oath as soon as he arrives in the capital Juba as part of a peace deal in August last year.

Former Botswana President Festus Mogae, who chairs the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, the African Union body overseeing the peace process, says that Machar, upon his return to Juba, will meet President Kiir and will immediately be sworn into office.

The oath will be administered in the presence of President Oumar Konare of Mali, also Chairperson of the African Union, Festus Mogae, the former President of Botswana, diplomatic corps and other dignitaries. The event will be held at the South Sudan Presidency, known as J1.

However, General Gabriel Gatwech Chan, a commander popularly known as "Tang-Ginye," says he does not expect the agreement signed by Dr Riek Machar to lead to peace in South Sudan.

In a statement critical of Machar, issued on Sunday, Tang-Ginye warned of the possibility of renewed conflict because of the inadequacy of the peace deal. He criticized the peace deal as non-comprehensive.

He says that his dissident group, which broke from Machar's SPLM-IO the same month that the peace deal was signed, considers that the deal fails to address the root causes of the crisis that started in December 2013.

"The peace deal that they made contains things that are not good... after a little while there will again be problems from Juba there," he adds.

Tang-Ginye called on the South Sudanese government to enter into a new dialogue with the dissident group led by Changson Chang, a former government minister and defector from Machar's group, who is based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Changson's group, known as the Federal Democratic Party-South Sudan Armed Forces FDP/SSAF, last week named Tang-Ginye as its provisional chief of staff.

Tang-Ginye himself hails from the northwest of Jonglei and previously belonged to the Anyanya, Anyanya-2, SSDF and the Sudan Armed Forces. He was a long-time foe of the SPLA and only briefly reconciled with the SPLA during the CPA period.