Riek Machar directs opposition ministers to boycott cabinet meetings in Juba

South Sudan’ former vice president and prominent opposition leader Riek Machar has directed all his ministers in the unity government to boycott cabinet meetings in Juba until the ongoing political row is contained, a senior SPLM-IO official said.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Friday, SPLM-IO deputy head of information and public relations Manawa Peter Gatkuoth said all ministers nominated by the armed opposition faction should adhere to the leader’s directives.

Manawa accused the SPLM-IO ministers who are still attending the cabinet meetings in Juba of supporting Taban Deng Gai who was appointed by President Kiir as the new First Vice President replacing Riek Machar.

“I think the ministers who are attending the meetings of the government up to now in Juba are supporting the SPLM-IO faction formed in the Crown Hotel “said Manawa.

Machar claimed recenty that he is still the first vice president of South Sudan, saying Taban Deng Gai’s appointment by President Salva Kiir was “illegal”.

On Tuesday, the UN warned President Kiir that any political appointments must be consistent with last August’s peace deal that ended nearly two years of civil war – under the agreement, the vice president must be chosen by the armed opposition faction.