In a presidential decree announced on the national television, SSBC, last evening, President Kiir replaced Dr Machar with the mining minister, Taban Deng Gai.
According to the decree, President Kiir based his decision on recommendations made by “top leadership of the SPLM/A-IO” in Juba that proposed Deng as Machar’s replacement.
On Monday, Kiir received a proposed document from SPLM-IO leaders in Juba stating the appointment of Deng as the acting First Vice President of the republic of South Sudan in absence of Machar.
Machar camp protests
Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, accused Kiir of violating and destroying the August 2015 peace agreement by “illegally dismissing his peace partner, Dr. Riek Machar”.
“President Salva Kiir has proved to the whole world that he was behind the conspiracy implemented by Honourable Taban Deng Gai to illegally replace H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, from his positions,” Dak said.
He added: “I believe President Kiir does not want to see peace achieved in South Sudan during his lifetime.”
According to Dak, Deng only has 5% support of the political leadership of the SPLM-IO and maybe, and just maybe 1% of support from the SPLA-IO army.
“So how will President Kiir implement the peace agreement with a defected person who does not control both the political and military wings of the SPLM/SPLA (IO)?”
Hunt for Machar
Dak claims to have reliable information that President Kiir’s forces are on offensive to hunt down Dr. Riek Machar around Juba.
“However, our forces have the right to fight back in self-defence.”
He called on the regional players and the international community to not allow South Sudan to slide back into another civil war by actions of President Kiir.
Machar left Juba during the gunfight between his forces and the national army early this month. Since then, his whereabouts is unknown.
The sacking of Machar in 2013 sparked a civil war that cost thousands of lives and displaced tens of thousands of civilians.