Dr Riek Machar Teny

Dr Machar joined SPLM/A in 1984. He rose in the liberation movement's ranks but unfortunately due to ideological differences with the late Dr. John Garang, he left the movement to form SPLM-Nasir in 1991. This party later became the Southern Sudan Independence Movement (SSIM).


In an effort to map out an alternative path to peace in Southern Sudan, Dr Machar signed a provisional peace agreement with the National Islamic Front in 1997. Under this agreement, Khartoum offered Southern Sudan autonomy but only on paper. Dr Machar became the leader of the Southern Sudan Coordinating Council which was formed to take care of the interests of the Southerners. He was also named an assistant to the President.


Dr Machar rejoined SPLM/A in 2002 and became the third in command in the movement. He rose to the second position with the demise of the late Garang. He is now the Vice President of Government of Southern Sudan.


In an effort to nourish lasting peace in the region, Dr Machar spearheaded regional peace talks with the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group led by Joseph Kony. This was a significant steps towards ending armed conflicts generally in the East/Central Africa region and Southern Sudan in particular given that most of the fighting between the LRA and Uganda Peoples' Defense Force (UPDF) is done on Southern Sudanese soil. The initiative was also motivated by the understanding that as long as this LRA/UPDF is ongoing, lasting peace cannot some to Southern Sudan and the implementation of the CPA may be in jeopardy. Though no peace deal has been signed so far, the initiative managed to reduce incidents of fear, especially to the Southern Sudanese civilians who had been victims of the effects of the the LRA/UPDF conflict.


Dr Machar - cheerful on duty


Dr Machar was born in 1952 at Adok, Bentin in the Unity State. He is from Dok Nuer nationality. He is a brilliant academician. He holds an engineering degree from the University of Khartoum and a PhD in robotic engineering from University of Bradford. He is well published.



This article was updated on Jul 13, 2011