August 19, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese presidency said Tuesday that any move to create the position of a prime minister for its opposition leader would violate the country’s transitional constitution.
- South Sudan’s former vice-president turned rebel leader, Riek Machar (AFP)
“President [Salva] Kiir’s administration is not, and will never be ready for creation of prime minister’s post, if that was what Riek [Machar] is looking to get. The president is the protector of the constitution and therefore would not violate the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan”, presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny said in a statement.
Ateny also dismissed as untrue the rebel leader’s claims that the government had acquired arms worth $1.7 billion, saying the latter would rather support humanitarian assistances instead of spending such resources on weapons for a senseless war .
“Concerning the allegation from the rebel leader of the government’s sales of arms worth of $1.7 billion US dollars, the office of the president is taken aback by the level of lies being manufactured by rebels out of desperation. Such allegations are far-fetch and wanting statement from rebel Riek Machar," stressed Ateny.
"The government has never bought arms since 2008, and at the peak of humanitarian disaster created by Riek Machar, has no reason to buy arms when its citizens are struggling to get basic needs," he added.
The presidential aide further stressed that all efforts were underway by the leadership to bring peace and reconciliation to the citizens instead of prioritising arms dealings.
“The government is genuinely working to bring peace and to reconcile its citizens. It does not need more arms than what is already available”, he said.
SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT OFFER
Ateny described the recent offer by president Kiir to appoint rebel leader Machar the second vice-president as a goodwill gesture seeking to end the ongoing conflict.
Last week, Onyoti Adigo, the minority leader in the national legislative assembly openly criticised the new proposal saying there was no provision in the constitution, which mandates the president to create the position of second vice president.