On Dr. Machar’s Sacking in 2016: Facts and Analysis

Posted: June 17, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Roger Alfred Yoron Modi, Roger Yoron Modi

By Roger Alfred Yoron, Kampala, Uganda

Raila and Riek

Former Kenyan PM, Raila Odinga, meeting South Sudanese opposition leader, Riek Machar, in South Africa, in the lead up to the face to face meeting in Khartoum between President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar

Sunday, June 17, 2018 (PW) — In 2016, President Salva Kiir in a decree relieved Dr. Riel Machar as First Vice President citing powers drawn from Chapter One Article 6 Sub-Article 4 of the Peace Agreement (ARCISS). President Kiir also appointed General Taban Deng Gai First Vice President in a separate decree last evening. Taban has taken taken oath of office as FVP earlier today. His appointment, according to the decree, is based on recommendations of “the Top Leadership of the SPLM/SPLA IO” reached on 23rd July 2016 and Chapter 1 Article 5 Sub-Article 2(4) of the Agreement.


Chapter One, Article 6 Sub-Article 5 provides that in the event of temporary absence of the First Vice President, the First Vice President may delegate a senior opposition (IO) minister to the post. Dr. Machar has been absent since Sunday 10th. Isn’t that a temporary absence? Why didn’t he delegate a senior IO minister to act as FVP in line with Article 6.5 of the Agreement?

Couldn’t that have filled the vacuum, avoided the “conspiracy” and kept government business running until when he (Machar) returns to Juba? Probably yes. Or Machar does not trust any of his own ministers? If the answer is “no” to all these, then he might have thought that the “third force” he has called for would have promptly arrived Juba City.

Meanwhile, the Article President Kiir cited while relieving Dr. Machar reads: “In the event that the post of the First Vice President falls vacant during the Transitional Period, for any reason, including mental infirmity or physical incapacity of the office holder, the replacement shall be nominated by the top leadership body of the South Sudan Armed Opposition [IO] as at the signing of this Agreement. Such a process of replacement shall not exceed forty eight (48) hours. The successor as the First Vice President shall serve in the Office until the end of the Transitional Period.”

But, did the position of the FVP fall vacant as per the stipulations in the Agreement? Well it is worth noting that, in an attempt to answer this legal question, the vague wordings “for any reason” in article 6 (4) could be interpreted scrouplously and or unscrupulously in favour of or against Dr. Machar or the “IO leadership” which nominated General Taban. That depends largely on who does the interpretation and where.

It is also worth noting that granting legitimacy to General Taban’s nomination as per the stipulations of Article 6 (4) is contradicting Taban’s and the IO’s leadership in Juba initial statement that he was only to fill a vacuum and will step back “if the man [Machar] comes.” And that same initial statement is also incompatible with Article 6(4) for the fact that the Article explicitly states that: “The successor as the First Vice President shall serve in Office until the end of the Transition Period.”

However, things started getting clearer though again frightening when this morning SPLM-IO member The Former Advanced Team spokesman William Ezekiel said on The Dawn Show on Eye Radio that the decision to replace Dr. Machar is an internal decision which is final adding that “Taban is not acting.”


Till yesterday (I have not thoroughly checked today), Dr. Machar’s spokesmen have done too little to authenticate, subtantiate and justify their announcement that General Taban has been fired from the IO and recalled from the Ministerial Position he was holding.

From where did Dr. Machar, individually derived the power to fire Taban from the IO?

Again from where did Machar derived the power to recall Taban from the Ministerial position he was occupying on IO ticket?

Further, the spokesmen have not done enough to prove that Machar actually made such orders… the letter circulating online saying Taban is “dismissed” does not bear Dr. Machar’s signiture. One is also left to wonder how would Dr. Machar or his group communicate to President Kiir an order recalling Gen. Taban from the Ministerial docket of Mining.

On their part, IO ministers in Juba have since said that they have lost contacts with Machar. Because of these and the fact that Machar himself never spoken to the media about Taban or the developments in the Country for sometimes now… and due to the fact that Dr. Machar’s spokesmen have not provided media houses with recordings (audios) of Dr. Machar making those orders…. people are only left to speculate as to what direction the Country is being dragged to. People are also wondering how have those spokesmen, especially the one in Nairobi been communicating with Dr. Machar.


Dr. Machar’s spokesman in Nairobi have maintained that the recent moves are a conspiracy to remove Machar and ultimately dismantle the Peace Agrerment.

The spokesman said, according to Sudantribune, some players in the region and in the international community have taken part in the “conspiracy” to make South Sudan ungovernable by supporting the actions so that the situation can be used as a pretext for the Country to be taken over by the United Nations under a Trusteeship.

This is not far from a somewhat elaborate allegations one South Sudanese diplomat sometimes back narrated to me that some members of the international community have been working to have South Sudan placed under a UN Trusteeship by all means.


Some people believe that with Taban as FVP, the implementation of the August 2015 Agreement will finally be moving smoothly.

Also some people believe that the rise of Taban is a conspiracy to ultimately dismantle the Agreement.

Those in this category are skeptical and cautious of a recourrence of a situation similar to the infamous statement President Gaafar Nemeiri made that “agreement is neither a Bibble or a Koran for it no to be broken,” when he nullified the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement.

Finally, will Dr. Machar returns to Juba for the post? Will Machar settle down peacefully and leave Taban to lead as FVP? Will Machar seek legal/political redress? From where? Will he lead another war against the “conspiracy” or to retain the FVP post?

Things are still not clear enough. Stay safe and #Prayforpeace, rule of law and all the ideas which inspired our quest for Independent South Sudan.

Roger, a journalist, is a lawyer in the making.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. ram says:

    There is no conspiracy or a device to subjugate South Sudan under any trustees. What has transpired thus far since 2013, have all been man-made armed conflicts, and certainly no outsiders involved still. They all have freedom to say no to bloodshed but didn’t. These opposition members have set their future on a very slippery slope, and diverting attentions from the fact these rebels must face justice to conspiracies is flying fox idea!


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