South Sudan

John Kerry: South Sudan Free to Replace Riek Machar

In what appears a massive diplomatic failure for South Sudan rebel leader Dr Riek Machar, troche the United States government has said it does not see anything wrong with his replacement.

Machar was removed from his position as South Sudan’s First Vice President after the July gun battle between his forces and presidential guards left over 300 dead in Juba.

The armed opposition responded by replacing the controversial leader with General Taban Deng Gai who has now called for peace and stability.

Gen Taban has since received red-carpet treatments in Kenya as well as Sudan and pledged to work with Kiir to reunite the nation and reintegrate opposition forces in the mainstream army.

Addressing the media in Kenya on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said it’s not Washington’s responsibility to determine Machar’s fate.

“With respect to Machar, it is not up to the United States; it’s up to the leaders of South Sudan and the people of South Sudan, the political parties and the neighbors to weigh in on what is best or what is not best with respect to Machar,” said Kerry.

“But I think it is quite clear that legally under the agreement, there is allowance for replacement and the transition of personnel and that has been effected with the appointment of a new First Vice President,” he added.

Kerry’s remarks come at a time when Machar’s health is said to be dire after spending over 40 days in the forests along the South Sudan/DRC border.

He was reportedly evacuated by United Nations which is offering him treatment.

Machar’s forces waged war against Kiir in December 2013 only to be stopped by Uganda’s elite forces from capturing Juba.

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