Top diplomat backs new South Sudan vice president

Cheryl Sanders
August 31, 2016

Kenyatta made a one-day stop Tuesday in Juba, the first head of state to visit since deadly fighting erupted last month between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing former First Vice President Riek Machar, who fled the capital soon afterward.

Earlier, Machar's spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, in comments to Sudan Tribune criticized the comments from the USA top diplomat, saying Kerry's opinion was against the IGAD communiqué as well as against a resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which described the controversial replacement in Juba as "inconsistent" with the peace agreement.

"There is no political will to implement the agreement". Kiir and Machar signed the pact over a year ago, when Machar led South Sudanese opposition forces.

Mr Kenyatta was received at Juba International Airport by South Sudan's first vice-president Taban Deng Gai before he inspected a full guard of honour mounted by the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA).

"We are here to ask the government to push the peace agreement and the reforms that were agreed forward", he added.

Kiir appointed Deng after Machar went into hiding and eventually fled the country.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is in Juba to discuss with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir the progress of the implementation of the peace deal signed previous year in a bid to end conflict that threatens to tear the country apart.

South Sudan's currency, the pound, has fallen sharply since the government allowed free floating of exchange rate in December, pushing price to increase several times.

"If the price of goods in the market continues to rise, then very little will be done as people will continue to suffer", he said. "I am more disillusioned or less optimistic than I was when I first came".

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