New South Su­dan VP ap­point­ment ‘il­le­gal’: Machar

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

South Su­dan’s for­mer vice pres­i­dent and prom­i­nent op­po­si­tion leader Riek Machar has told Al Jazeera that his re­place­ment by Pres­i­dent Salva Kiir is “il­le­gal”.

In an ex­clu­sive phone in­ter­view on Wed­nes­day, Machar said: “I’m still the first vice pres­i­dent of the repub­lic of South Su­dan. The ap­point­ment made yes­ter­day by Pres­i­dent Salva Kiir is il­le­gal.

“It has no ba­sis be­cause the peace agree­ment doesn’t give him the pow­ers to ap­point a first vice pres­i­dent un­der the cur­rent cir­cum­stances.”

Kiir re­placed Machar on Mon­day with Gen­eral Ta­ban Deng Gai, af­ter a sharp surge in vi­o­lence ear­lier this month be­tween gov­ern­ment and op­po­si­tion fight­ers threat­ened to send the world’s youngest coun­try back to all-out civil war.

Machar fled the cap­i­tal, Juba, more than two weeks ago and has been in hid­ing ever since.

Machar told Al Jazeera that he is cur­rently “around Juba”, adding, how­ever, that he will only re­turn to the cap­i­tal when an out­side force in­ter­venes. “I’m around Juba,” he told Al Jazeera’s Sami Zei­dan. “I am wait­ing for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and re­gional body to say they will de­ploy troops to Juba and once they do that, I will re­turn to im­ple­ment the [peace] agree­ment.”

But, Machar said, that if the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity failed to in­ter­vene, he might or­der his fol­low­ers to make a move to march to­wards Juba in the fu­ture.

“As long as the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and the re­gional third party force are be­ing waited to de­ploy, we will not dis­rupt that,” he said.

“But if they fail, this will be an in­di­ca­tion that the whole agree­ment is for­saken by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and the re­gional body that bro­kered the peace agree­ment.”

Yes­ter­day, Machar was given a Satur­day af­ter­noon dead­line by Kiir to re­turn to Juba and work to­gether to­wards re­build­ing peace.

But, with Machar miss­ing, his party con­vened on Satur­day in Juba and came up with a res­o­lu­tion to re­place him with Ta­ban.

On Tues­day, the UN warned Kiir that any po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ments must be con­sis­tent with last Au­gust’s peace deal that ended nearly two years of civil war — un­der the agree­ment, the vice pres­i­dent must be cho­sen by the South Su­dan Armed Op­po­si­tion. Yet, speak­ing also to Al Jazeera, South Su­dan’s pres­i­den­tial spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said that Machar’s own SPLM-IO group had backed Ta­ban’s ap­point­ment, adding that Machar should “ad­dress this is­sue within his party”. “Ta­ban be­came the first VP on the ticket of the SPLM-IO, then Dr Riek has to ad­dress that is­sue within the SPLM-IO. This is not the busi­ness of any­body in South Su­dan,” Ateny said on Wed­nes­day. “I want to as­sure you that South Su­dan will be more peace­ful with Ta­ban and Kiir in­stead of Riek Machar,” he added. Machar, how­ever, told Al Jazeera that “the ap­point­ment of Ta­ban ... is not ac­cept­able be­cause he has de­fected and joined the fac­tion of Pres­i­dent Salva Kiir. “He can­not ap­point some­one who has de­fected to re­place me.” South Su­dan was founded with op­ti­mistic cel­e­bra­tions in the cap­i­tal on July 9, 2011, af­ter it gained in­de­pen­dence from Su­dan in a ref­er­en­dum that passed with a nearly 100 per­cent of the vote. The coun­try de­scended into con­flict in De­cem­ber 2013 af­ter Kiir ac­cused Machar of plot­ting a coup. Civil war broke out when sol­diers from Kiir’s Dinka eth­nic group dis­armed and tar­geted troops of Machar’s Nuer eth­nic group. Machar and com­man­ders loyal to him fled to the coun­try­side, and tens of thou­sands of peo­ple died in the con­flict that fol­lowed. Many civil­ians also starved. The pair of ri­vals signed a peace agree­ment late last year, un­der which Machar was once again made vice pres­i­dent. — Al Jazeera DUR­BAN – A man who was stabbed and robbed sur­prised his at­tack­ers when he shot and killed one of them and se­ri­ously in­jured the other, po­lice said yes­ter­day.

Po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant Colonel Thu­lani Zwane said the man was walk­ing along Gladys Manzi Street in Greyville, Dur­ban, when he was at­tacked.

“The sus­pects pro­duced knives and stabbed him in the left shoul­der, be­fore rob­bing him of his cell­phone and wal­let. [The] vic­tim man­aged to pro­duce his li­censed firearm and fa­tally shot one of the sus­pects. The other sus­pect was shot in the up­per left arm.”

Zwane said the in­jured 26-year-old sus­pect and the com­plainant were trans­ported to hospi­tal for med­i­cal treat­ment.

“The com­plainant’s wal­let and cell­phone were re­cov­ered at the scene.”

Zwane said charges of rob­bery and as­sault with in­tent to do griev­ous bod­ily harm were laid, and an in­quest docket was opened at Dur­ban Cen­tral Po­lice Sta­tion for in­ves­ti­ga­tion. — News24

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