Home | News    Sunday 23 November 2014

Defectors warn S. Sudan’s Kiir risks deposition by inner circle

November 22, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – A senior South Sudanese official who declared on Friday his defection to the rebel movement led by former vice-president Riek Machar has warned that president Salva Kiir risks being deposed by his inner circle unless he moves quickly to conclude a peace agreement with the opposition group.

PNG - 120.4 kb
The South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

A former envoy to the United Nations, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping called on Kiir to humbly step down in order to save his legacy or risk being forcefully deposed and remembered as the first president of independent South Sudan “who led his country to destruction”.

Lumumba who hails from Lakes state and previously represented Cueibet county as a member of the National Liberation Council (NLC) for the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) directly appealed to president Kiir to make a choice.

“Your legacy will come to naught. History will remember and record you in its annals as the first liberation struggle leader who charted the way to independence and delivered destruction to his people and country,” said Lumumba in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

“Don’t be misled by sycophants. Do the right thing for Christ sake: embrace change, reform and embrace the hopes of our people or quit. You live in a circle-snake pit. Don’t let them hold guns to your head. If you do not bring a just peace, before history judge you, they will depose you. And the fighting and struggle will continue,” he added.

According to Lumumba, a genuinely agreed upon power-sharing arrangement will amicably resolve the 11-month old conflict between South Sudan’s rival factions.

“The proposed interim administration will allow the executive branch of the government to execute its mandate under the watchful eye of an empowered parliament,” he said.

“It will rid us of any authoritarianism and or type of democracies that enable the corrupt fat cats of our country from dominating absolutely the politics of South Sudan and thus creating massive inequalities and injustices that will lead ultimately to systemic failure of our country,” added Lumumba.

The former diplomat said there was need to adopt a federal system of governance in the country and introduce overhauling reforms in a “federal dispensation”.

He also accused president Kiir’s government of allegedly giving away the sovereignty of the country to foreign elements.

“Our government has chosen to give away our national sovereignty and territory, as demonstrated by Mile-14 and the presence of foreign troops and military advisors to maintain-in-power a regime as politically and morally bankrupt as never witnessed in the region,” said Lumumba.

“South Sudan is being reduced into an animal farm where free and open participation of our citizens in the public of their country is absolutely denied, where minds are being closed, where wisdom and morals are thrown into the bins,” he added.

The former diplomat, along with Henry Dillah Odwar, a former lawmaker from Eastern Equatoria state, officially declared on Friday their defection to the SPLM/A in Opposition, a day after meeting Machar in Addis Ababa. Odwar is a member of the SPLM.

KIIR LACKS VISION

Meanwhile, Odwar slammed the South Sudanese leader over what he characterised as lack of vision and clear direction, calling upon the latter to peacefully step down.

“I have joined the opposition to demand for president Salva Kiir to step down. As you are all aware president Kiir has been in power since after the demise of Dr. John Garang de Mabior,” he told reporters on Friday, adding that president Kiir’s “recklessness has ended South Sudan in the abyss.”

The former lawmaker also questioned Kiir’s morality and conscience as head of the nation, further accusing the latter of alleged engagement in corruption practices.

The South Sudanese conflict broke out last year following a dispute between members of the presidential guards in Juba and has, despite a ceasefire agreement, killed thousands of people and forced nearly two million civilians to flee from their homes.

(ST)