World Bulletin / News Desk
A South Sudanese minister resigned on Friday, declaring his allegiance to the opposition led by exiled former vice president Riek Machar.
South Sudan descended into chaos in December 2013, two years after gaining independence.
A power struggle within the country’s ruling SPLM party between President Salva Kiir and Machar led to the ruinous civil war
Gen. Duop Lam -- the country’s labor minister -- was one of 10 members of the armed opposition to be appointed to a senior position in a transitional government of national unity under the terms of an August 2015 peace deal.
In a statement, Lam described the current administration as a “partial government of national unity” and said he gave his “full allegiance and commitment” to the SPLM/IO movement led by Machar.
He has also spoken out against Kiir, who he accused of a plot to assassinate Machar during last July’s fighting which forced the opposition leader into exile.
Under the terms of the August 2015 peace deal, 30 ministerial posts were split between Kiir and Machar, as well as other opposition parties. It was under this deal that Machar attained the position of first vice president.
But, after fighting broke out, Machar fled the capital and Kiir appointed a replacement from Machar’s SPLM/IO party, laying bare fractures within both the administration and opposition.
Speaking on board the papal plane on his way back from a two-day visit to Egypt, the pontiff said there was a need for "negotiations with a view to a diplomatic solution".
The tragedy occurred Thursday, when the six-story building came crashing down for reasons that are being investigated, the Red Cross said.
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EU President Donald Tusk made the announcement to 27 European Union leaders holding a special meeting -- without Britain -- on Brexit, Merkel told reporters.
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"He slipped, he was injured and briefly hospitalised and will not join us this afternoon," said Massimo Mallegni, mayor of Pietrasanta.
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