South Sudan President Gen. Salva Kiir on Friday evening dissolved his government in a decree aired on the national broadcaster, SSTV.
The decree, read during the evening news at 8PM, happened a day before the formation of transitional government of national unity expected to be announced in the neighboring Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Saturday.
Kiir said he had replaced First Vice President, Gen Taban Deng Gai with Riek Machar.
He also appointed three Vice Presidents – Dr James Wani Igga, Taban Deng Gai and Rebecca Nyandeng Garang de Mabior, wife of South Sudan founder, John Garang.
The fourth vice president post is reserved for the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) whose leadership is grappling with internal wrangles.
The group is yet to nominate a person to take the post.
On Thursday Kiir had a face to face meeting with the armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar and Sudanese deputy head of Sovereign Council, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo at the presidential palace in capital Juba.
In a statement to the media by the presidency, Kiir reportedly reached a common ground with Dr. Machar and resolve to form the transitional government “on time”.
Machar also reportedly reechoed Kiir stating that outstanding matters have been resolved.
The contentious issues including the number states and security arrangement in Juba delayed the formation of transitional government, which was meant to be constituted in May 2019 as per the September 2018 deal.
It was postponed twice; first to November and then 100 days extension.
Last week Kiir, in a surprise move, conceded grounds and dropped earlier strong position of maintaining 33 states against the equally unrelenting stance of opposition to revert to 10 states.
Machar will serve as First Vice President position in the transitional government which will last three years till elections are held.
He briefly served in the same position in 2016 before the fall of the first unity government in July the same year.
The government had just been formed in April 2016