Salva Kiir, the South Sudan president, has reappointed his rival, the rebel leader Riek Machar, as first vice president in a possible government of national unity.
“I, Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, do hereby issue this Republican Decree for the appointment of Dr Riek Machar Teny as the first vice president of the Republic of South Sudan,” the president said in a decree issued late on Thursday.
Kiir expects Machar to travel to Juba, the South Sudanese capital, soon, Ateny Wek Ateny, the presidential spokesman told The Associated Press.
“I don’t see any reason why he should not come to Juba. If there is a reason, then he should tell the world,” Ateny said.
Machar had been Kiir’s deputy until July 2013, when his sacking triggered a political crisis that later boiled over into a rebellion following a violent split among the security forces in Juba.
The rebel leader, who has been living in Ethiopia, welcomed the decree.