South Sudan

UN flies Machar to Juba to assume VP office


Troop members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in opposition (SPLA/M-IO) get off a UN plane upon their arrival at Juba airport on March 28, 2016

United Nations will provide a plane that will fly South Sudan first vice president Riek Machar to the capital today.

This was revealed by Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak.

On Monday, SPLAIO chief of General staff Lt Gen Simon Gatwech flew to Juba in the first flight.

Gatdet said later in the evening that a second flight had also taken the rest of the soldiers and some politicians to Juba from Gambella airport.

“It has also landed in Juba. This is after the arrival of the Chief of General Staff and the first 121 soldiers who went with the first flight,” he confirmed.

Gatdet said the Chairman and C-in-C Machar may arrive in Juba Tuesday, 26 April, 2016.

He told Sudan Tribune UN had informed him it was ready to transport the top opposition leader to Juba.

“We have learned that UN will provide a plane to transport to Juba the first vice-president designate to Juba on Tuesday.”

The chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), Festus Mogae, also confirmed in a televised statement on Monday that a UN plane will fly to Gambella on Tuesday and pick Machar with 40 of his officials.

Mogae made the statement after a meeting with President Kiir on Monday.

This follows a withdrawal of a plane earlier sponsored by US which said it was disappointed by the continuous delay of his arrival.

Gatdet told Tribune Machar will immediately take oath of office upon arrival.

He will straight from the Juba airport drive to the Presidential Palace (J1) for the swearing in ceremony after which he is expected to hold a brief meeting with President Salva Kiir.

He will thereafter go to the mausoleum of late John Garang de Mabior to pay his respect and retire to his residential area at Jebel Kujur, also popularly known as Pagak 2, where his forces are stationed.

Machar is also expected to make consultations with his officials and with President Kiir on the long-awaited formation of the transitional government of national unity in which the government will have 16 national ministers in the new cabinet, SPLM-IO will have 10 and other political parties and former detainees will have 4 ministers, 2 each.

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