Saturday, February 22, 2020

Kiir, Machar Pledge to Work Together for Peace Implementation
Kiir poses with Mchar, Wani, De Mabior and Taban Deng after the swearing ceremony on 22 Feb 2020 (ST photo)

February 22, 2020 (JUBA) - South Sudanese president and his newly appointed first vice-president pledged to work together for the full implementation of the revitalized peace pact.

First Vice President Riek Machar and three other vice-presidents: Madam Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, James Wani Igga and Taban Deng Gai took the oath of office on Saturday in a ceremony attended by regional leaders who brokered the peace process.

Speaking after the swearing-in event, Machar said pledged to work with the Kiir during the upcoming 36 months to implement the peace deal.

"For the people of South Sudan, I want to assure you that we will work together to end your long-suffering," he said at the beginning of his speech.

"I would like to reiterate my commitment and the commitment of the SPLM/A-IO to work closely with the peace partners and particularly President Kiir Mayardit to implement the agreement in letter and spirit," he stressed at the end of his speech.

The ceremony which was held at the South Sudanese presidency was attended by the head Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. and the Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda. South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza also, attended the event.

President Kiir started his long speech by saying that "peace has come and it has come to stay not to be shaken ever again in this nation" before to add "My brother Dr Riek Machar and I are now partners in peace."

"We solemnly swear that we will work together to preserve the lives of our people and preserve their unity. It will be our responsibility to restore people’s lives and to inspire them once again to believe in the Republic of South Sudan and in a future that is full of promises of prosperity, peace, and stability," he asserted.

The 4th Vice-President

Until Saturday the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) did not announce the name of its nominee for vice-president.

The spokesman for the South Sudan Patriotic Movement Stephen Lual Garang who is also the SSOA deputy spokesman said they continue their deliberations on the matter.

Garang confirmed that five leaders signed a letter of proxy authorizing Kiir to pick one of six candidates for the position. He added that five have signed it for the time been.

The National Democratic Movement of Lam Akol on Friday said the peace agreement provides that every block has to communicate its nominee to the president.

The SSOA leaders from Bahr el Ghazal province says it is the only region from the three greater provinces in the country to not be represented at the collegial presidency of the transitional period.

The Shilluk ethnic group of the Upper Nile province says they are the third ethnic group in the country and also they are not represented at the presidency. The two senior officials from the region - First Vice President Machar and Vice President Taban Deng Gai - are Nuer.

Calls for national reconciliation

President Kiir in his speech made a strong call for forgiveness and reconciliation in the country stressing South Sudan’s people should now form a single nation.

"I want to appeal to Nuer and the Dinka communities to forgive and reconcile with one another. I also appeal to the people of Equatoria, especially those who have experienced much of the devastation to forgive and reconcile".

The people of Bor, Bentiu, Malakal and Wau, who bore the brand of this conflict, have their hopes restored through forgiveness and reconciliation.

He indicated that the South Sudan National Dialogue process that he had initiated two years ago will hold its final conference.

"It is our strong belief that this process and the peace Agreement we have signed are the beginning of repair to the damage we have done to our country".


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