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Friday, August 5, 2011

Riek Machar

Riek Machar Teny, born 1952, is the first vice-president of the independent Republic of South Sudan.
Riek Machar trained as an Engineer at Khartoum University and obtained a PhD from London University. Machar belongs to the Dok section of the Nuer people. He married Emma McCune, a British aid worker. She died in a car accident in Nairobi in 1993. She was pregnant at the time.
Riek Machar was one of the earliest members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA/M) under John Garang (1984). In August 1991 Riek Machar, Lam Akol and Gordon Kong announced the overthrow of John Garang. The Bul Nuer Anyanya-2 militia at Mayom, South Sudan, Mayom under Paulino Matip and the Lou Nuer Anyanya-2 militia at Doleib Hill under Yahannis Yoal Both declared for Riek.Machar's group called themselves SPLA-Nasir (1991–1993).
In September 1993, President Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya held separate talks with Garang and Riek. In October 1993 the US Congress hosted a meeting between Garang and Riek. The two seemed to agree about various subjects related to a cease fire and reconciliation between the two factions, self-determination and opposition to the Khartoum regime, but Riek disputed Garang's authority and refused to sign a joint declaration. Riek Machar dismissed Lam Akol from the SPLA-United in February 1994. Lam Akol returned to Kodok in the government-held region of Upper Nile state. Later Machar's group called themselves SPLA-United (1993–94).
Machar signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement in 1997. Machar and his team joined the National Islamic Front in Khartoum. After the signing, he was the leader of South Sudan Defense Forces (SSDF, the newly re-named SSIM) (1997–2002) The Khartoum Peace Agreement offered the South self-determination on paper and made Machar the Assistant to the President of the Republic of the Sudan and the President of the Southern Sudan Coordinating Council (August 7, 1997 - January 31, 2000).
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