Tuesday, June 27, 2017

South Sudan Risks Disintegration if Kiir Steps Down: Adviser
South Sudanese president Salva Kiir speaks at a public rally in Juba on 18 March 2015 (Photo: AP/Jason Patinkin)

June 25, 2017 (JUBA) - War-torn South Sudan will disintegrate if the country’s leader forcefully steps down, one of his advisors warned on Sunday.

Tor Deng Mawien, the presidential adviser on decentralisation and intergovernmental linkages made the remarks while addressing the Muslim community who gathered for prayers in the capital, Juba.

“As you peacefully end the holy month of Ramadan, I would like you to continue to pray and preach messages of peace, love, reconciliation and forgiveness,” said Mawien.

He added, “This is the only way we can guarantee security, unity and peaceful co-existence of our people, not fighting and campaigning to change the [current] government by force”.

The advisor to the South Sudanese leader described the latter as a “unifying” figure, stressing that the country’s ruling party (SPLM) would disintegrate and eventually collapse should Kiir step down.

“This is not politics, but it is a fact. President Salva Kiir is the unifying figure”, he said.

The South Sudanese leader vowed he would never step down by force, insisting it would set a bad precedent for the war-torn nation.

Kiir made these remarks last week while meeting Akobo state governor, Johnson Gony Biliu, who was in the South Sudan capital to brief him on the security and humanitarian situation in his territory.

“They [citizens] want peace and I will not accept to let them down and step down by force,” the South Sudanese leader said last week.

South Sudan was plunged into conflict in December 2013 as the rivalry between President Kiir and his then-vice president, Riek Machar, turned into a civil war. Since then, the fighting, which has often been along ethnic lines, triggered Africa’s worst refugee crisis, with over three million people fleeing their homes.


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