South Sudan Officials Say bedridden Machar Carries ‘Venom of War’—For Peace, He shouldn’t Return

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South Sudan senior officials say the deposition of opposition leader Riek Machar and his replacement with Taban Deng Gai has accelerated the much needed peace for the progress of Africa’s youngest nation.

Officials who spoke to Sudan Tribune news portal wished Machar not return to the Government of National Unity. The ex-rebel leader is now nursing wounds in Khartoum after a long trek from Juba following four days of heavy fighting.

President Salva Kiir  adviser on Decentralization and Inter-governmental linkages Tor Deng Mawien, said the peace agreement is accelerating with the new VP, Gai.

“Anybody who has been following the turns of events and the level of movement would appreciate the speed at which the president has demonstrated his commitment to implementing the peace agreement because he has now found a partner” Mawien said.

Gai, who was the rebel chief negotiator in the peace agreement that brought calm after 20 months of a civil war assumed presidential viceroy after Machar fled. A faction still loyal to him accuse Gai of betrayal.

Mawien says “Gai has demonstrated willingness to working collaboratively with the president to implement the peace agreement so that to move the country forward. This is what is very important. It is not who occupies which position,”

Also a senior official at South Sudanese embassy in the United States Gordon Buay said the world has now accepted the appointment of Gai after realizing that it was not easy for president Kiir to work together with Machar.

“The entire world is convinced that Riek Machar cannot work together with President Kiir given the incident of July, 8, this year coupled with December, 15, 2013” Buay said.

His remarks just come at a time US Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed the appointment of Gai saying it was an internal matter which depended on the conditions in the country.

“I think it’s quite clear that legally, under the agreement, there is allowance for the replacement in a transition of personnel, and that has been effected with the appointment of a new vice president. And what they decide to do is going to be dependent on them in the context of the implementation of the peace agreement,” Kerry said.

However, both IGAD communiqué and United Nations Security Council’s resolutions criticized the replacement of Machar as “inconsistent” with the peace agreement and called for reinstatement of Machar to his position as First Vice President.

Observers are keen to underline that the speed at which the assembly reconstitution and after the replacement of Machar suggests there was an underground conspiracy to remove him from office and replace him with someone who would not stick to implementation of the key provisions in the deal

Credit: Sudan Tribune