South Sudan president reappoints Vice President as part of peace deal

South Sudan president reappoints Vice President as part of peace deal

- Salva Kiir has reappointed his former vice president via a presidential decree

- His decision forms part of a peace deal to bring the civil war to an end

- South Sudan gained independence in 2011 

South Sudan president reappoints Vice President as part of peace deal

Rivalry between Mr Kiir (L) and Mr Machar transformed into open conflict in late 2013

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has reappointed bitter rival Riek Machar as vice-president through a presidential decree on state television.

His decision is part of a peace deal aimed at ending more than two years of war. As part of the peace deal, the two also agreed to share out ministerial positions and return the government to where it was before the war broke out.

The civil conflict erupted in December 2013 after Mr Kiir accused Mr Machar of plotting a coup. Since then thousands have died and more than two million have been displaced.

South Sudan is the world's youngest country and one of the least developed. It split from the North in 2011.Amid a threat of sanctions from the UN, the two sides signed a peace deal in August last year. Fighting was supposed to stop immediately but there have been frequent violations.

Mr Machar, who is not currently in South Sudan, has welcomed the move, telling the BBC he could return within three weeks if security arrangements were implemented.

"I'm eager to ensure that peace returns to the country, political stability is maintained, the permanent peace is respected - I'm confident we can do this," he said.

Pressure will now grow for the men to form a transitional government - another part of the peace agreement, says the BBC's James Copnall, a former Sudan correspondent.

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The UN and African Union have accused both sides of carrying out atrocities. Last month an AU-backed report alleged that 50 civilians had suffocated after government troops locked them in a shipping container.

The world's youngest country split from Sudan in July 2011 after an independence referendum. It is one of Africa's least-developed economies and highly oil-dependent. Relations with Sudan strained by disputes over oil revenue sharing and borders and a power struggle brought about civil war in December 2013. The conflict resulted in an estimated 2.2 million fled their homes during conflict.

 

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