Appointment of Dr. Riek Machar as 1st Vice Pres. of Republic is welcome but…?

“Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies.” – President J.F. Kennedy.

By Dr. James Okuk, PhD, JUBA, FEB/12/2016, SSN;

On Thursday February 11, 2016 President Salva Kiir Mayardit appointed by Republican Decree No.60/2015 the Chairman of SPLM/A-IO, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, as the First Vice President of the Republic in accordance with provisions of Article 6 of Chapter I of the August 2015 Agreement On Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).

The move is supposed to affirm that for the duration of the transition, there shall be established the Office of the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, to supervise the implementation of the reforms outlined in the ARCSS and exercise the powers, functions and responsibilities outlined therein.

After taking the oath of office, Dr. Riek Machar would be expected to exercise the following powers:

1) Coordinate the implementation of the ARCSS and initiate institutional reforms as prescribed in the Agreement;

2) Serve as Commander-in-Chief of the South Sudan Armed Opposition forces (SPLA-IO) during the Pre-Transition Period and the period or until the establishment of the shared unified command of the National Defence Forces of South Sudan (NDFSS);

3) Serve as the Acting Commander-in-Chief of the unified NDFSS in the event of any temporary absence of the President after the unification of the forces;

4) Chair the cabinet clusters;

5) Serve as Deputy Chair of Economic and Financial Management Authority (EFMA) Board;

6) Serve as Deputy Chair of the National Security Council (NSC);

7) Serve as Deputy Chair of the National Defence Council (NDC);

8) Oversee the preparation and consideration of Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) business and programmes;

9) Follow up and ensure the implementation of Council of Ministers’ decisions with the relevant Ministries and institutions;

10) Oversee implementation of laws passed by the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA);

11) Chair the Council of Ministers in the absence of the President; and

12) Carry out other functions as may be prescribed by law, as long as such laws do not contradict the terms of the Agreement.

In the event of temporary absence, the First Vice President may delegate a senior SPLM/A-IO Minister to carry out functions and duties as stipulated above. And in case Dr. Riek doesn’t make it for one acceptable reason or another (like what happened to Dr. John Garang de Mabior during the implementation period of the 2005 CPA), including mental infirmity or physical incapacity of the office holder, his replacement shall be nominated by the top leadership body of the SPLM/A-IO.

The process of replacement shall not exceed forty eight (48) hours after the declaration of vacancy of 1st VP post. The successor shall serve in Office until the end of the transition period unless another tragedy happens to him/her that would requires another replacement.

However, the announcement over the SSTV would not become practical from the ideal world until Dr. Riek Machar takes the decision to pack his things and come to Juba to take oath of office as well as his full duties and rights.

But it is highly improbable that Dr. Riek Machar shall risk coming to Juba before completion of architecture of the special security arrangements for the capital city as provided in Chapter II of the ARCSS and in the Minutes of Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements (PCTSA) Workshop that took place in Addis Ababa in September 13 – 18, 2015.

As Dr. Riek Machar doesn’t trust protection provided by President Salva Kiir, he will not risk being slaughtered in Juba as he said over the BBC last year, but will first ensure that his 1,500 police and 350 1st VP Presidential Guards are first deployed inside Juba together with 620 Guards for his Commanders and 200 for military police in addition to 140 for logistical battalion, 50 for administrative battalion and 50 for National Security Service.

In short, Dr. Riek will not feel safe in Juba until he ensures that a total of 2,910 of his forces are inside Juba and well-armed for his protection in case of any eventuality. He has learnt his lessons in the past and he will fear even a rope put on his way for a snake.

The condition of bringing in the well-armed armed SPLM-IO forces is that the GRSS’ well-armed armed forces that are not authorized by the ARCSS should first be redeployed 25 km zone radius from the center of Juba. Also Dr. Riek Machar doesn’t have instant means of transporting his authorized forces to Juba.

Thus, until these two hurdles are resolved there shouldn’t be celebrations over the announced appointment of Dr. Riek Machar as 1st VP because the cart of war is still blocking the horse of peace.

The solution is in an urgent ARCSS implementation prioritization by the warring parties who are supposed to have become peace partners by now.

The international and regional communities who are guarantors to the ARCSS must also increase the pressure on the GRSS to quickly redeploy the unauthorized armed forces from Juba while beefing up logistical support to transport the authorized SPLM-IO armed forces to Juba as soon as possible before the economy could entrench further its red pangs on the population.


Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer of politics reachable at


  1. abai okwahu says:

    dr. okuk what about the cancelation of the establishment order (28 states), and the amendments in the constitution to allow for the incorporation of the compromise peace agreement, thus leading to the formation of the transitional government? kiir just keeps creating complications to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

  2. Gatdarwich says:

    It is obviously clear that the selective implementions of peace agreement won’t materialize until killer NyanKiir’s kleptocratic regime cohorts comes to their senses, and immediately begins implementing the peace deal sequentially—beginning from security arrangements and constitutional amendments period
    Killer NyanKiir’s and the lunatic-fanatic-Jenges council of evils’s manipulative–deceptive tactics don’t work uninterruptedly in their traitorous favor this time around period

  3. Okuc says:

    Dr Okuk,

    It has been made clear by International community that they will not pay for transportation of Riak’s forces to Juba nor build barracks for Kirr’s forces either. kirr and Riak should reach into their pockets if they are serious to implement 15 August agreement but its unlikely that peace agreement will be implemented because of some reasons you have mentioned in your article.
    The peace agreement has already failed and abrupt appointment of Riak is PR only by Kirr to tell the World that he is serious to implement the agreement but his partner in peace agreement is the one who is unwilling to come to Juba for implementation of peace agreement.

  4. Gatdarwich says:

    All the SPLA-IO blind supporters must know and be unequivocally informed that this peace agreement will and shall catastrophically dies–like 2002 SSIM-Torit peace deal–if Dr. Riek succumbs to the toothless IGAD-plus pressure and trickery–hastily rushes to Juba prior to the security arrangements completion. All those in Pagak must unreservedly initiates plan B within the hour Dr. Riek jets to Juba prematurely period

  5. Francis mangok says:

    Brothers and sisters I refused to tell you this message, but God wants me otherwise I will get punish. God said if there is no peace after this, there will be famine and diseases for two years. God said your people are not in the right direction. Brothers and sisters I have to tell you this message because I have no choich.

  6. Chulbaar says:

    Nuers should know that all their paths of shame are opened should they choose to continue with war, they’ll be defeated..and if they decide to renegotiate peace or opt to surrender to Jieng like they usually do, they’re defeated too…What the Nuers should do instead is vacate South Sudan and join their relatives in Ethiopia, because Dinkas are not in the mood to forgive them again this time..

  7. garango says:

    Riak Machar must face Justice, dead or alive for atrocities in Bor 1991, 2013, Malakal, Baliat, Bantiu, Nasir, Leer, Malout, Rank, Akobo and Wadekona. Long live South Sudan.

  8. Toria says:

    As much as I would like to call your comment rubbish, but indeed you are right. You are expressing exactly the gut feelings of Jenge against not only Nuers but against all the tribes who are standing on your ways to do Jenges evil dirty plans in South Sudan. Dinkas will never succeed to implement your self-serving egotistic JCE interests in South Sudan period. Let me put it this way for you idiots. Dinkas have no guts and your dreams will not manifest. So, if you have nothing better to write on this website just shut up or go back to khor tum where you originated. Let those who are trying to help South Sudan be the ones to comment.

  9. Eli says:

    Dr Okuk
    You made good points, in addition, it’s very important to point out that the true intention of SPLA- Juba is to lure IO leadership into their death traps. But lucky enough, Dr Machar is ahead of their shallow games.
    There is none, whatsoever, any language of peace coming from Juba ever since Pres. Kirr made it very clear in August 2015, about their so-called “Reservation”.
    Just read on, who the presidential advisor is blamiming now. “S. Sudan blames current economic distress on regime change”???????? What a load of trash!
    Blaming the Western Nations by Kirr’s own advisor doesn’t sound like anything smart but an idiocracy. They are announcing threats of war on the same Western Powers that forced Omar El Beshir to surrender South Sudan?
    These people are still stuck in their bush mentalities. They have a long way to learn that every regime that went contrary to the current global system will be toppled. They are banking their survival on the backings of Russia and China, but so far in Africa only Mugabe and Beshir are surviving in some of the collapsed Third World economies. The conditions of these and other hostile nations are waiting to be buried. Let SPLA dig their graves, WE ARE WAITING TO BURRY THEM SOON OR LATER.
    May God bless our innocent civilians.

    • Dear Eli,

      I wonder whether the GRSS’and SPLM-J’s apologists have read history of how U.S, UK and France have been conducting international relations, including how they had changed regimes in Third Word Countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. I wonder whether they understand the grave risk of accusing a superpower of attempting to change a regime of a dwarf power like South Sudan. If the U.S government leaders, for example, want to change the SPLM-J regime, will they need even to attempt to do it because a cough from them is enough to blow the GRSS off the cliff instantly without much efforts to push it away.

      All what the U.S and other western powers want is the implementation of the August 2015 peace deal so that war could be stopped and peace restored back to the country but with accountability of those who have committed serious crimes on human dignity like 1) narrowing of freedoms (e.g., arbitrary arrests and detentions); 2) violating the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (e.g, targeting of civilians, use and recruitment of children, conflict-related sexual violence, displacing civilians from their original livelihoods and unknown gunmen/gunships); 3) deteriorating the situation precipitously to pose threat to the peace and security of the entire region and the world at large (e.g., economic woes, starvation/famine; 4) worsening humanitarian and human rights situation and the environment for humanitarian and peacekeeping operations as well as economic situation; 5) obstructing humanitarian assistance and of peacekeeping operations (e.g., attacking, assaulting, harassing, detaining, intimidating, threatening and restricting humanitarian workers and UNMISS personnel; 6) diverting humanitarian assistance, including stoppage of humanitarian convoys at checkpoints and extorting money in exchange for safe passage or to permit the utilization of the roads; and 7) relentless violations of the UNMISS’ Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and mandate to protect the civilians under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations) under applicable international humanitarian and human rights laws.

      Therefore, those who are propagating that the U.S and other western powers are working for a regime change against the GRSS, must now be made to know that they are the ones wishing our country a bad omen by inviting the BIG LION to adopt the idea and make it real. It is not wise to play childish international politics in mouth of the LION that controls dollars and the entire world economy as well as the sophisticated military hardware. See how Russia is ‘Crying Uncle’ when the U.S. decided to bring down oil prices in the international markets. Those GRSS’ officials who thought that Russia could be a new ‘Uncle’ should now be thinking twice.

      It is better we cooperate with U.S and other western powers by implementing the ARCISS as it is without more delays, otherwise the idea of regime change may be considered seriously this time round because what would be the rationale of international community feeding and protecting the population in South Sudan when its leaders don’t care?

      • Eli says:

        Dr Okuk
        I agree with you. President Kirr is a wolf in sheep skin, he wants to force all his opponents into submission by all means. It isn’t realistic for him to issue a decree to reappoint Dr Machar as the FVP, according to the IGAD Plus, Dr Machar has already earned that position. What if Pres. Kirr reverses his endless decrees as soon as Dr Machar steps into Juba and then issue another decree for his arrest, tried and convicted and God knows what’s next? He does it to his governors all the time. What is different now? I hope Dr Macahar stands his ground and let the IGAD process prevails.

  10. Peacemaker says:

    First putting in place all the provisions on the security arrangement is the prerequisite for the return of Dr. Riek to Juba. President Kiir should have first completed all the arrangements pertinent to that effect before proceeding with the appointment. Hence the appointment is redundant and meaningless or else the president meant some thing different as may be inferred from his ultimatum to Dr. to report within 7 days.

  11. False Millionaire says:

    It’s good to agree with Dr Okuk.
    RSS would be better off under british/american influence.We would never miss to become african Hongkong/Hawai if we ever fell under them.That reality is easy to predict.
    For those who have some civil engineering backrounds,u would readily observe that the road linking Nimulé and Juba that was constructed by the americans is far better in quality in camparison to the transafrican highway linking Mombasa,Nairobi and Kampala built by the chinese.
    Assumed the americans built our road network nationwide!
    But the context of the events has twisted too unexpectedly that we are compelled to debate as why.
    The british and the americans are among the IGAD-Plus states which imposed the compromise peace agreement.
    But strangely,they are the same ones now wanting Dr Riak in Juba without preconditions as prescribed in the agreement.
    Why is it that for?
    Could there be a foul play in the making to eliminate Dr Riak?
    Has the context Of Dr Riak being closed to Khartoum’s regime played against him so far as the americans may be viewing RSS under him as a potential safe heaven to islamic terrorists supported by khartoum against british/american’s and israel’s interests?
    But without Dr Riak in the game,what would they get of Kiir?
    The ball is more on the side of the IGAD-Plus states than on the side of the elites in Juba!!!

    • GatCharwearbol says:

      Dear False Millionaire,

      Admittedly, this is one of the remarkable comments you ever made. More often than not, your comments are about Dinka and JCE interest and ego.

      Of course, the IGAD-PLUS are after something. What it is, I don’t know. But it seems Dr. Machar is the shooting target and how to hit that target is why the pieces of the puzzle are not falling into their rightful places. As it is proven difficult to hit the target, the shooter would like to take another tactical move meant to eventually give him appropriate shooting angle. So guess what, we are in the dark and not sure of what is taking place in the gambling world.

  12. John says:

    Very idiot Dinka mentality, how do you want to form a Govt. without the main opposition? do you think all South Sudanese support Dinka Govt. Kirr Govt only have 20% percent support from all the South Sudan and that is worries Dinkas so much. they think by apply Killing all over South Sudan will let people support them. This is the end of Dinka Govt.

  13. ladu says:

    Dear southerners am glad to be part of this conservation, the government has to know that if he is not listening to the voice of his citizens then I think we don’t have gvt. The really government relies on peace rather than dictatorship, nepotism, tribalism among others.that causes out revolution. Remember there is no any other country that turns the whole govt into a family unit.

  14. ladu says:

    Dear readers, Listeners, citizens of south sudan our time of happiness has been shorten by a shame that have no scope, If I remember the tm when I tirelessly stand at a polling station for 72 hours. then for now it is a moment of sorry.I never no that am voting for despotic govt, ye its a worry act that about 85% of the citizens were not aware of the political ideologies in the govt. Surely the govt is seeing, even having mercy to only the childrens of south sudan. Poverty is deteriorating due to economic set back.Therefore,I call upon the international committee to truly implement there aims and objectives as there mission upon the government of the republic of south Sudan to serve the lives of vulnerable people, Windows, orphans whom there parents loss their lives during the 21 years civil war. If don’t mind about the citizens that time soon will cm.

  15. father south says:

    Young nation need peace lovers and patriot leaders to act in united way forward for young nation to united believe me if we as a young generation don’t plan to reconciliation and peace building than this hatred cause by Riek and his boss Kiir will wait us a head and the futures will not forget and there will be a more war until the end of the world in our beloved young nation.

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