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“The hardest work” starts now, US tells Kiir, Riek

Author: Ayuen Panchol | Published: Sunday, February 23, 2020

Kelly Craft, US ambassador to the United Nations | Credit | BBC

The United States has welcomed the formation of the government of national unity, saying “real work begins now”.

On Saturday, President Salva Kiir appointed Opposition Leader Dr. Riek Machar first vice president.

He also appointed Taban Deng, Rebecca Nyandeng, James Wani vice presidents – in line with the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement. The four deputies took oath of office the same day.

However, the presidency is yet to appoint ministers and one representative if the South Sudan Opposition Alliance as vice president.

“I welcome the decision by the government and opposition parties to form a new, transitional unity government,” Ambassador Kelly Craft said in a statement.

“This is the first in a series of critical steps that must be taken to bring dignity and peace to the people of South Sudan.”

Amb. Craft went to say that the establishment of the coalition marks the beginning of the “hardest work”.

The 6 years of conflict have reportedly claimed nearly 400,000 lives, displaced millions, and destroyed the economy.

An estimated six million people in the country will face acute food shortage from February to April, the government and three UN agencies  warned on 20 February.

The Kiir administration has also been riddled with poor governance characterized by impunity and grand corruption.

“The real work—the hardest work—begins now, and I urge President Salva Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar, and all of South Sudan’s leaders to show the courage and fortitude needed at this moment to translate hope into a better future for South Sudan,” the diplomat continued.


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