PRESIDENTS OF UGANDA, SOUTH SUDAN HOLD TALKS AT ENTEBBE

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has held private talks with his South Sudan counterpart, president Salva Kiir at State House Entebbe.

The discussions Sunday between the two heads-of-state revolved around regional matters and the situation in South Sudan. Ugandan and South Sudanese officials also attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, tensions surfaced Saturday within South Sudan's former rebel movement over a minister seen as a rival to Vice-President Riek Machar.

Machar declared he had fired the minister -- a position that appeared to have the backing of the SPLM/A (IO), a former rebel movement which has joined a fragile unity government.

But in a twist to the strife-torn country's complex politics, around 100 senior members of the SPLM/A (IO) then announced they backed the minister.

The central figure is Mining Minister Taban Deng Gai, who the dissenters said will act as interim vice-president in Machar's absence.

"The leadership has nominated Taban Deng Gai to act as the first vice-president of the Republic of South Sudan," Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, head of external affairs for the SPLM-IO, told the media after a meeting at a hotel in Juba.

Speaking to journalists following his nomination, Gai insisted he would step aside once Machar returned to South Sudan. "I'm only filling a vacuum. If Riek Machar returns (to Juba) tomorrow, I will gladly step aside if it can help bring peace to South Sudan," Gai said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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