June 19, 2014 (JUBA) - In a very strongly-worded speech to the parliament in Juba on Thursday, South Sudanese president Salva Kiir said any interim government without him or the elected national assembly is "a red line.”
- South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AP)
Kiir accused unnamed countries of intending to “dismantle” his county and the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
“They intend to constitute a transitional government without me as the elected President. They want to bring somebody of their choice to be the president of that transitional government. That is a red line,” said Kiir, attracting a standing ovation from the lawmakers who interrupted his speech with songs saying “we shall never.”
“The whole intention is to dismantle the SPLM which they believe has become a very stronger monster in South Sudan,” he added amidst applause.
Different sources say western countries including the USA were pushing for the designation of the former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum as interim president to implement constitutional and political reforms.
Kiir’s remarks are the first public signal of his frustration from these speculations.
The mediation was keen to invite a group of SPLM political leading members including Amum who are opposed to Kiir’s “failed government” and the “doomed armed rebellion” led by Riek Machar.
Kiir, who committed himself to formation of an interim government in line with the 9 May agreement signed with the rebel leader Riek Machar, said he could expand to accommodate dissidents but not dissolving elected institutions.
“The members of this August House were elected by their constituencies to represent them in accordance to the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and nobody on this earth will be allowed to dishonour their legitimacy,” Kiie said.
“As the President of Republic South Sudan I will never allow this thing to happen,” he further stressed.
On the other hand, the president once again defended the idea that there was a coup attempt concocted against his government by the former vice-president to explain the eruption of violence in the country since last December.
“Those elements who please themselves in the agenda of regime change have fallen into the deception that on 15th of December President Salva Kiir created a story of a coup in South Sudan while in fact there was a rebellion from within; that there was no coup. I always say that if there was no coup, how did fighting start?” he said.
Kiir statements come nine days after a meeting between him and Machar attended by the IGAD head of states and governments, where the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni told the participants there was no no coup attempt by the former South Sudanese vice-president.
Kiir, who requested to update lawmakers on stalled peace talks, said he will increase cabinet posts to accommodate members of the rebel’s SPLM in opposition.
However, he did not elaborate on the structure of that cabinet.
Over 10,000 people have died and more than a million others forced away from their homes since the fighting started in Juba and spread to Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states.