December 9, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit will not hold press conference, his office said on Monday, disregarding previous reports which emerged that the head of state would call a press briefing to comment on current internal rift in the leadership.
- South Sudan’s Salva Kiir addresses the media in Juba May 2, 2013 (Reuters/Paul Banks)
"I call to tell you that I am not aware of the press conference. What I know is that the president is going to South Africa. It should actually have been me to organise and inform the press because this falls within my mandate", Kiir’s press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny, told Sudan Tribune Monday.
Multiple sources at the presidency attributed the shift to “lack of time” for the president to convene a press conference since he would be leaving for South Africa.
"Sorry we could not call you back yesterday to inform you that the plan had been changed. The president will not hold the press conference as planned today because he will be travelling out of the country to South Africa to pay condolences to South Africans and their government on the death of former South African president, Nelson Mandela. So it will not be possible to hold the press conference again", a presidential aide told Sudan Tribune on Monday.
He did not give another date on which the president would hold the press briefing after returning to the country.
On Sunday a press release issued by the office of the president Kiir said he would hold a "important" press conference on Monday, apparently to comment on ongoing internal political struggle within the SPLM.
Th president had been expected to react to a press conference directed against him organised the former vice-president Riek Machar, Robecca Nyandeng, Pagan Amum, Deng Alor, Alfred Lado, Chol Tong, Taban Deng, John Luk, and others.