South Sudan

Gen Taban Deng: My Vision for South Sudan

In December 2013, more about Dr Riek Machar’s plush residence in Juba came under heavy artillery. An alleged coup had flopped.

The SPLA’s commando units embarked on a heavy clampdown on forces perceived as loyal to Dr Machar.

As elite units closed in on Machar, cheap Gen Taban Deng Gai and a few other loyalist officers sent in a squad of military personnel to evacuate Machar to safety.

Since then the bond between the two Neur officers became stronger.

Machar would later nominate Gen Taban as the opposition forces’ chief negotiator in the peace talks with government.

When the peace deal was signed and Transitional Government of National unity formed, cialis 40mg Machar appointed Gen Taban minister for Mining.

But when the fighting broke out in July, leaving hundreds dead, Gen Taban chose to side with Kiir, telling associates how Machar was determined to become president at all costs.

President Salva Kiir urged Machar to return to Juba, a request the First Vice President ignored – citing security reasons.


A meeting was later held by the SPLA in opposition who nominated Gen Taban as the First Vice President, ending days of turmoil.

On Tuesday, Gen Taban Deng Gai sworn in as First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan before President Salva Kiir at the State House in Juba.

Gen Taban takes oath as the First Vice President
Gen Taban takes oath as the First Vice President

The swearing in ceremony, was presided over by the Chief Justice Chan Rec Madut and was attended by the Vice President James Wani Igga, Presidential Advisors, National Ministers, Parliamentarians, Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Republic of South Sudan, senior officers of the SPLA and other organized forces.

Ambassadors who attended the ceremony were from U.S., UK, France, China, Turkey, DRC, Uganda, Egypt and others

Way forward

On his part the Taban said he was nominated by the SPLM/A-IO leadership to fill the vacant post of the FVP and push forward implementation of the peace agreement.

He further pointed out that the “International Community must respect the local laws and orders of the Republic of South Sudan”, pointing out that “there is no room for two armies in the country.”

He was referring to the opposition’s forces kept in cantonment areas around Juba and regular government troops.

Taban promised to “move faster to integrate the army and other organized forces so that peace and stability is realized in the country.”

The First Vice President said he would work hand in hand with President Kiir Mayardit towards reunification of the SPLM/A and improvement of the economy.

The function was attended by diplomats in the country
The function was attended by diplomats in the country

Kiir speaks

In his key remarks at the ceremony President Kiir congratulated Taban for the new position and wished him a good luck in his new assignment.

Kiir pledged to cooperate with Taban and SPLM/IO to implement the peace agreement and address security challenges in the country.

President Kiir disclosed to all that, the whereabouts of Dr Machar is not known so far and this cannot halt implementation of the agreement.

He said Taban and IO Leadership have a job to be completed – implementation of the peace agreement in letter and spirit.

President Kiir said the appointment of Taban Deng Gai is a decision of SPLM/A-IO leadership not the government because Dr. Riek “has ran away and left a vacuum” in the Government.

Kiir urged Taban to work hard to silence the Gun and appealed to IO Leadership to stand firm with the First Vice President and explain to the IGAD, AU, UN and International Community at large why and how the IO leadership has nominated the new FVP.


On his part, Vice President, Wani Igga congratulated Taban, saying SPLM/IO has taken a bold decision to push forward implementation of the peace agreement.

Igga described Taban as a patriotic man and congratulated President Kiir for the immediate step he has taken after the IO leadership recommendations.

Igga said decision of the IO Leadership to nominate a candidate to fill the vacant post of the FVP was from the agreement in article 6 (4), and the Government has respected the legal move of the SPLM/A-IO.

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