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S. Sudan activist wants rivals excluded from future leadership

October 8, 2017 (JUBA) - A South Sudanese activist says President Salva Kiir and his main political rival Riek Machar should be excluded from the future leadership of the young nation, citing their lack of commitment to end the war and failure to improve situations.

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First Vice-President Riek Machar (L) and President Salva Kiir (R) listen to the national anthem following a ceremony during which Machar was sworn in on April 26, 2016. (Phot AFP/Samir Bol)

“Kiir and Riek failed to provide positive leadership from 2005 to 2013, before they fell apart. In fact, it is their failure that led them to get on each other’s throat. In spite of the availability of abundant resources and goodwill, they hardly provided any social services, leave alone any socio-economic development. Hence, there is no basis for them to continue or return to power during the interim period,” wrote Yongo Bure.

He further added, “They may return to power after the Interim Period, if they are elected at the end of the interim period”.

The South Sudanese activist, in his op-ed article, also proposed a four year future interim government to be managed by technocrats.

“Another fact that must be taken into account in setting up a new interim government, for about four (4) years, is that there are no elected political institutions in South Sudan now. The terms of the elected authorities expired by July 2015, at the latest. Their extension by ARCSS (Agreement on the Resolution of conflict in the Republic of South Sudan) expired with the destruction of ARCSS in July 2016. During all these periods, the people of South Sudan have experienced great suffering. Hence, South Sudanese need new faces to run the new proposed interim government”, he added.

The interim government, he said, must be headed by a national figure that participants in the revitalization process should identify.

“Individuals such as Paride Taban or Paulino Lukudu, I believe can be persuaded to spend a few of their old age years in salvaging South Sudan. The running of the ministries must be entrusted to the leadership of professionals in their various fields, equally drawn from Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile, without any ethnic group dominating the pool. All counties in South Sudan have professionals, and all these potentials must be tapped”, further stated Bure.

The activist claimed the South Sudanese leader and his supporters destroyed the ARCSS in July 2016, taking the country back to war.

“There has been no implementation of the said agreement. Moreover the security, political, social, and particularly the economic situation in South Sudan have deteriorated considerably,” said Bure.

He added, “In light of the existing situation in the country resulting from the unwillingness of Kiir and his supporters to implement the ARCSS, the whole agreement has to be reviewed and changed accordingly”.

In 2015, a report by the African Union Commission of inquiry into the South Sudanese conflict recommended that President Kiir and those who served government before cabinet was dissolved in July 2013, be excluded from the country’s transitional national unity government.

The report, instead suggested that an AU-appointed and United Nations-backed three-person panel be established to oversee a five-year transition and the creation of a transitional executive.

Headed by ex-Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo, the commission was to investigate crimes committed in South Sudan during the crisis.

South Sudan has been embroiled in nearly four years of conflict that has have taken a devastating toll on its citizens. Over two million people have fled the world’s youngest nation since conflict erupted in December 2013 when President Kiir sacked Machar from the vice-presidency.