South Sudan

Kiir Sets Red Line for Rebels


remedy geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The government said in a brief statement Thursday night that the “dissolution of the National Legislature and a transitional government without Salva Kiir will not be allowed – this is a red-line.”

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recipe geneva;”>Describing the surrendering of Kiir’s position as “unacceptable,” government was indirectly informing negotiators in Addis Ababa to avoid the discussion of replacing the current president.

The move is likely to stoke tensions in the war-torn country where rebels have been licking their thumb, eagerly expecting to install SPLM/SPLA rebel movement leader, Dr Riek Machar as the head of the transitional government.

Currently, guns are silent but it remains to be seen how rebels will respond to Kiir’s latest remarks.

Talks are underway in Ethiopia on the formation of an ‘inclusive’ government which is expected to encompass leaders of SPLM/SPLA rebel movement and other stakeholders.

Kiir speaks out

In a series of calculated attacks on the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) using the official Government of South Sudan twitter handle, Kiir reminded mediators that he was elected and can only be removed from office by the people of South Sudan.

“We were elected to represent the people of South Sudan,” said Kiir, adding, “Political manipulations intended to compromise our constitution and cause more problems will not be allowed.”

Government also blasted IGAD Secretary General Mahboub Maalim for describing Kiir as “stupid.”

Mahboub was recently quoted in the media as saying failure on the part of Kiir and Machar to resolve their disagreements politically by resorting war “is stupid.”

Government said today: “We object to any insult directed at the President of an IGAD member state by Mahboub Maalim and demand an explanation.”

The peace talks have stalled with both government and rebel sides boycotting the opening ceremony.

Government delegation spokesman Michael Makuei who doubles as South Sudan’s information minister recently accused IGAD of using insulting words against president Kiir but sources in the corridors of power says the Juba regime is becoming uneasy with sharing power with rebels whom it accuses of committing atrocities after failing to unseat Kiir in the botched December 2013 coup.

Juba further said dialogue remains key in resolving the country’s problems, adding, it will always ‘listen’ to its people.

This week, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon telephoned President Kiir and Machar, reminding them of their commitments to putting an end to the brutal war in South Sudan that has uprooted thousands of lives.

Ban, who recently visited South Sudan to assess the contribution of aid agencies in saving lives and meet Kiir, told the two parties this week they must expedite the process of forming a transitional government of national unity.

In his address to the press in Geneva, Ban expressed his concern over the dire situation in South Sudan, demanding that both parties must live up to their commitments and comply with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in Addis Ababa.


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