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S. Sudan Peace Agreement: Machar to be Reinstated as First Vice President

SPLM-IO rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar, would be reinstated in his position as South Sudan’s First Vice President, announced El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed the Sudanese Foreign Minister on Saturday Kampala.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni hosted Presidents Omer al-Bashir and Salva Kiir and former South Sudanese President Riek Machar. The leaders of the other opposition groups also took part in the meeting.

After mentioning three pending issues on the governance chapter on 21 June, the IGAD special envoy for South Sudan urged the leaders of regional block to find a solution to ensure Machar’s “unimpeded participation” in the process.

Despite Kiir rejection of his participation, the region and the international community repeated that his absence from the process means the continuation of war.

On Saturday evening after the end of the meeting on the outstanding issues on the governance at the State House in Entebbe, the Sudanese top diplomat El-Dirdeiry said that Kiir accepted Machar’s reinstitution as first Vice-President.

“It has been agreed that there will be four vice presidents: the current two vice presidents, plus Riek Machar (who) will assume the position of first vice president, and then the fourth position will be allocated to a woman from the opposition,” El-Dirdeiry told the AFP.

He further said that the proposal was “accepted by the government” and that Machar’s opposition had accepted the deal “in principle” but would “consider it and come up with the final position” following further negotiations, to begin in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, on Sunday.

The meeting on the governance outstanding issues came after the signing of security arrangements agreement in Khartoum on Friday.

According to the Revised Bridging Proposal, there would be three vice-presidents: The First Vice President nominated by SPLM-IO, the Vice President, nominated by the TGoNU, and the Third Vice President, nominated by the opposition groups SSOA, FDs & OPP, as a bloc.

The meeting which lasted for more than 10 hours discussed the composition of the cabinet, the legislature and number of states in South Sudan.

The official SUNA said Entebbe meeting further agreed to add 15 ministers to the current South Sudanese cabinet which is composed of 30 ministers. The SPLM-Io will be allocated 10 ministerial portfolios while the other opposition groups have the other five posts.

Also during the transitional period, the opposition groups will appoint 150 Members of Parliaments who will sit beside the MPs of the parliament.

For the number of states, the matter will be determined by the Independent, ad hoc Boundary Commission (IBC) which will review the establishment of new states and their boundaries and to make recommendations for addressing the consequences of these changes.

Khartoum talks will continue until the 10th of July to settle all the outstanding issues in the governance chapter of the peace agreement and draft an agreement including all the agreed points.

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