June 19, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese vice-president, James Wani Igga, has appealed to the Ugandan government, which he described as a “good Samaritan” to help in convincing the world that president Salva Kiir should not step down as demanded by the rebels led by Riek Machar.
- South Sudan’s new vice-president, James Wani Igga (Photo: Larco Lomayat)
As details surrounding the five days visit of the South Sudanese VP to Kampala trickle in, a leading Ugandan newspaper and website, the Daily Monitor, on Thursday published a report quoting Igga as appealing to the southern neighbouring ally for help in an attempt to save president Kiir’s job.
Igga made the appeal while meeting with his Ugandan counterpart, Edward Ssekandi, in Kampala on Tuesday.
He explained to the Ugandan senior official that president Kiir should not resign as demanded by the rebels, describing it as unrealistic and asking for Kampala to help in explaining it to the world on behalf of Juba.
“You have been our good Samaritan. Help us tell the world that the rebels only control 10 per cent of South Sudan. It has never happened anywhere in the world that an elected president leaves office just because rebels have demanded,” he said.
When Juba could not get support from the regional bodies and the international community on its coup attempt narrative which they said sparked the 15 December violence, Kampala was the only hope to help sell the allegation.
However, in the last week’s IGAD regional summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni admitted for the first time in front of IGAD heads of state that there was no coup attempt by Machar’s group, only leaving Juba to toil in defending the allegation.
The rebels have demanded president Salva Kiir to step down, accusing him of “fabricating” the coup attempt and “administering” the targeted massacre of thousands of civilians from the ethnically Nuer community which they said has plunged the country into the current violent crisis for the last six months.
Machar’s opposition group has been expressing concern over the alleged Ugandan leader’s negative political influence on the South Sudanese president, which they said resulted to the 15 December crisis and stalling peace process in Addis Ababa.