President Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice President Dr Riek Machar, and Vice Presidents James Wani Igga, Taban Deng Gai and Rebecca Garang were sworn in at a ceremony in Juba to mark the start of the new transitional government in South Sudan.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres commended the parties for the “significant achievement in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan”.
“The Secretary-General applauds regional and international efforts that contributed to this result”, the statement continued. “The United Nations stands ready, in close coordination with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the African Union, to assist the parties in implementing the Agreement”, the statement concluded.
South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has been mired in instability and conflict for nearly all eight years of its existence.
In 2018 President Kiir and his former Vice-President and long-time political rival, Mr. Machar, signed a peace accord with the hopes that it would end the crisis and improve the lives and safety of millions of South Sudanese.
On Saturday February 22nd 2020, President Kiir witnessed Mr. Machar being sworn in as first vice-president, sealing the peace deal at the State House in the capital of Juba.
Hopes are high that the new Unity Government will bring an end to the conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more.
“This [swearing-in] action signifies the official end of the war and we can now declare a new dawn in South Sudan. Peace has come to stay, not to be shaken ever again in this nation” – President Kiir
Archbishop Justin said,
“Yesterday I joined other church leaders to witness the swearing in of our First Vice President and three Vice Presidents. We pray for all in authority as the Transitional Government of National Unity appoints ministers and begins the work of uniting the people of our country.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, tweeted:
“I welcome the formation of South Sudan’s Revitalised Transitional Government with joy and gratitude to God. I rejoice with the South Sudanese, especially the displaced, hungry and grieving who waited so long. I pray its promise is fulfilled in lasting peace and united leadership.”