James Wani Igga appointed South Sudan vice-president

  • 23 August 2013
  • From the section Africa
James Wani Igga pictured in June 2012
Image caption James Wani Igga has a wealth of military and legislative experience

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has appointed James Wani Igga as his deputy, state radio has announced.

Mr Igga has been speaker of parliament and a commander in the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), the ex-rebel group that now runs the country.

He succeeds Riek Machar, who was sacked by the president last month following an apparent power struggle.

South Sudan became independent in 2011 after decades of conflict with Sudan, making it the world's youngest country.

Numerous armed groups remain active in the oil-rich country.

After his dismissal, Mr Machar said he planned to challenge Mr Kiir for the leadership of the SPLM so that he can run for president in the 2015 election.

The entire cabinet was dismissed at the same time as Mr Machar on 24 July, and replaced this month with a smaller team.

Mr Kiir is from the Dinka community, which is the largest in South Sudan, while Mr Machar is from the second-largest group, the Nuer, some of whom have complained about Dinka domination.

Correspondents say Mr Kiir's choice of vice-president may be a way of shoring up support from Mr Igga's large Bari community in South Sudan's Central Equatoria region ahead of the elections in 2015.

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