South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir decreed Machar’s replacement with Taban Deng Gai as First Vice President in the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) on Monday evening. The decree was announced on state broadcaster SSBC.
Kiir has removed Machar two weeks after the rival leaders’ forces clashed in the capital Juba, leaving hundreds dead and thousands displaced. Kiir appealed Machar on Thursday, July 21, to return to Juba within 48 hours. Machar said, he fled Juba fearing for his safety.
The decree follows the SPLM-IO’s nomination of Taban Deng Gai as First Vice President on Saturday, July 23. However, some of Machar’s supporters criticised the replacement - but others in his party supported it.
#Juba | #SouthSudan – SPLM-IO leadership nominates Taban Deng Gai “to act” in #Machar’s absence as First Vice President....Posted by theniles.org on Saturday, 23 July 2016
Taban Deng Gai said shortly after his nomination that he is “only filling a vacuum” and that he would be willing to step down if Machar returns. He also said he hasn’t been dismissed by Machar.
#Juba | #SouthSudan – Taban Deng Gai, nominated by IO as First Vice President, is willing to step down if Machar...Posted by theniles.org on Saturday, 23 July 2016
Many fear the replacement of Machar could further complicate the already difficult political situation, and that the August 2015 peace deal, which ended more than two years of civil war, could break down.