Machar (pictured) had been Kiir's deputy until July 2013, when his sacking triggered a political crisis that later boiled over [Reuters]
The quest for peace in South Sudan has been one, from which deviation has not only caused gruesome fatalities but also stagnated economic, political and social growth. After enduring this poignant environment, South Sudan is in a state of reversion as his excellency, President Salva Kiir, reappointed his arch rival, Mr. Riek Machar, as vice president.
“I, Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, do hereby issue this Republican Decree for the appointment of Dr. Riek Machar Teny as the first vice president of the Republic of South Sudan.” said the president in the decree issued late on Thursday. It is important to recall that Machar had been Kiir’s deputy until July 2013, when his sacking sparked off a political hullabaloo that later matured to a war.
So, I believe it’s not fantasy to say that, with such a presidential reappointment, the world’s youngest nation is back to the start to forge a harmonious way to peace and unity.
Who could have inspired such a destiny-changing act of reversion? There are clues. Last year in November, when Pope Francis visited the Republic of Uganda, South Sudan’s neighbor to the south, President Salva Kiir was seen among the dignitaries that participated in the Pontiff’s visit. Could he have had a consultative chat with president Museveni?
More still, his arch rival, Riek Machar, is on record to have met President Museveni in January, after one of the latter’s campaign rallies. Machar did not only stop at meeting Uganda’s president, but held a press conference in the capital, Kampala.
Much as the occurrence of these meetings and coincidences is a seeming conspiracy of improbabilities, there’s a significant impact they had on Kiir’s decision. This decision to reappoint Riek Machar as Vice President has the potential to orchestrate a destiny to peace for the world’s youngest nation.
It’s now up to the top leaders to unlock the potential in such a decision and yield harmony from it. Harnessing the unity that lies in such a decision starts with Riek Machar returning from exile to South Sudan, as he welcomed the decree.
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