By Deng Vanang
On 2Ist February, 2020 South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit appointed the five
Vice Presidents mandated by R-TGONU.
Included among them is his perennial arch-rival and First Vice President Dr. Riek
Machar he removed in a wide ranging cabinet reshuffle on July 23rd, 2013 leading to
violent eruption on 15th December, 2013.
Then came the 2015 Compromise Peace Agreement which shortly afterwards re-
instated Machar President Kiir ousted once again on 8th July, 2016.
He had him replaced with General Taban Deng Gai, a Mining Minister and former Chief
negotiator of Machar’s rebel SPLM/A-IO.
Ministerial appointments followed suit on 12th March this year as establishment of
national legislature and State governments stalled, raising public fear over what is
suspected to be tactical delay in torpedoing peace process in away it happened back in
Compounding this concern are below illustrated numerous violations right from the
onset of what supposes to be the lasting peace in the country struggling to rebuild itself
from the ashes of prolonged internecine conflict:
Topping the list is the continuous detention, that started in South Africa and later Sudan,
of Dr. Riek Machar in Juba as his wife Angelina Teny revealed in an interview on BBC
focus on Africa two months ago.
The defection of Lt. Genral Koang Chuol Ranley that turned definition of re-unification of
forces into re-integration of rebel SPLA-IO service men and women into the national
army, SSPDF wont go down well with larger sections of IO’s forces who will be resorting
to an alternative harsh response.
Kiir’s unilateral decision to disperse forces from cantonment and training sites into an
oblivion under the guise of Covid-19 pandemic breaks the centerpiece of much delayed
security arrangements agreement.
Followed by sending in new forces to surround Juba and lock out IO forces outside the
capital, making rescue of IO’s politicians more perilous should push come to shove.
IO told to accept just 2 states outside Upper Nile region, instead of 3 as stipulated in R-
ARCSS. The strategy aims at denying IO’s presence in its strong hold as well as
puncturing Lt. General Johnson Olony’s appointment as the Governor of oil rich Upper
Nile State, a move that drives wedge, with dire consequences, between IO and allied Lt.
General Olony – led Colo Aguelek faction not currently represented in the national
The appointment of nine-member committee in place of NPTC without consultation with
Machar that humiliates Defense and Veterans Affairs’ Minister Angelina Teny and
places her under junior colleague Stephen Par Kuol in IO as Minister of Peace and
Secretary to the Committee headed and deputized respectively by Senior Presidential
Adviser Tut Gatluak and Minister in the Office of the President, Mayik Ayii Deng. The
committee with IG’s absolute majority is as well meant to steer peace implementation in
a direction more favorable to its closely guarded status quo.
Control of the country’s national purse by IG faction as evidenced in the Ministry of
Finance and economic planning as well as Bank of South Sudan under the stewardship
of Kiir’s three appointees in the name of Governor Jamal Wani Abdalla and two
Deputies leaves IO clueless and powerless in the way allocation of resources shall be
The appointment in new government of Kuol Manyang Juuk as Chief Adviser and most
closest official to President Kiir many perceived to be an influence behind 2013 Nuer
massacre in retaliation to 1991 Bor massacre is set to complicate not only Defense
Ministry, but also to a greater extent the new government’s operations. This is without
forgetting Kiir’s shrewd strategy of jamming the cabinet’s decision-making process with
his own appointed Advisers, while giving none to Machar’s IO.
Machar’s demand for a portion of three administrative areas he previously objected
which Kiir construed to be his own political bonus to beat the former in any future
Kiir’s Undersecretaries bureaucratizing IO’s Ministries shall prove to be the hard nuts to
crack and replace with IO’s chosen Undersecretaries, forecasting a clear inability of IO’s
Ministers to perform.
Likely resignation of Dr. Lam Akol from technically defunct SSOA in order to forge either
an internal or external front to challenge Kiir’s political monopoly and dismantling of the
once powerful voice of change, SSOA may not necessarily be a dealer breaker, but
heralds a louder and clearer awakening call to sleepy peace’s key guarantors and keen
observers that all is not well in R-TGONU.
IO’s Chief of General Staff, Simon Gatwech Dual and officers left out in the bush and in
state of uncertainty can at any given moment declare themselves an independent entity
rebellious to both Machar and Kiir-led R-TGONU.
Deng Vanang, UDRM/A’s Secretary-General and member of SSOMA’s Leadership
Cordially reachable at: email@example.com
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