Deng Gai re­places Machar as Vice Pres­i­dent

Daily Trust - - AROUND THE WORLD -

The ap­par­ent dis­ar­ray in South Su­dan’s Tran­si­tional Gov­ern­ment of National Unity comes full circle Tues­day when for­mer rebel leader and First Vice Pres­i­dent Riek Machar is for­mally re­placed by his one­time chief peace ne­go­tia­tor, Gen­eral Ta­ban Deng Gai.

South Su­dan Pres­i­dent Salva Kiir an­nounced last week that he had fired Machar and re­placed him with Deng. Machar went into hid­ing fol­low­ing clashes be­tween the two forces ear­lier this month that left hun­dreds of peo­ple dead.

Deng will be sworn in Tues­day as first vice pres­i­dent. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the for­mer sec­re­tary for for­eign af­fairs of the SPLM-in op­po­si­tion, said Ta­ban Deng has the sup­port of the en­tire SPLM in op­po­si­tion.

“Ta­ban Deng Gai is known to the SPLMSPLA-IO. He has been the chief ne­go­tia­tor; he was the one who ne­go­ti­ated this agree­ment in Addis Ababa. He is a gen­eral in the army. He also par­tic­i­pated in the war of lib­er­a­tion since 1983. So he has the sup­port of the army and also the sup­port of the party, the SPLA-IO, and he has a lot of sup­port from South Su­danese,” he said.

Ta­ban Deng Gai, then-chief ne­go­tia­tor of the rebel group known as SPLA-IO, ad­dresses a news con­fer­ence af­ter ar­riv­ing in South Su­dan’s cap­i­tal Juba.

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