South Sudan rebel leader appointed vice president

South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Friday appointed rebel leader Riek Machar as vice president, after the two men finally agreed to form a long-delayed unity government — a crucial step towards ending six years of war.

A presidential decree included “the appointment of the vice presidents and the dissolution of all institutions at national and state levels,” Information Minister Michael Makuei told AFP.

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The decree was read on state television, the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation, appointing Machar as the first of five vice-presidents in a bloated cabinet to accommodate various warring parties.

But consensus has only been reached on three of the four others, including current first vice president Taban Deng Gai — a former Machar ally who defected.

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James Wani Igga from Kiir’s ruling party, and Rebecca Nyandeng, a former minister and Kiir ally-turned-critic are the other named vice-presidents as part of the long-awaited unity government..

The swearing-in ceremony will take place on Saturday, Makuei said.

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